03/24/2012 : ROW OVER PAGCOR INTERNET CAFES
Some enterprises are facing closure because they are operating in the wrong locations
ABS-CBN News in the Philippines reports that a number of online gaming stations of state-run casino operator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) are facing closure because they are operating in illegal locations.
Francis Hernando, vice president of Pagcor's Licensed Casino Development Department, said they may cancel the permits of several Pagcor e-Games cafés that violate their licensing terms.
Section 10 of Pagcor's charter states that "the operation of slot machines and other gambling paraphernalia and equipment, shall not be allowed in establishments open or accessible to the general public unless the site of these operations are three-star hotels and resorts accredited by the Department of Tourism."
There are currently 195 e-Games cafés in the country; Pagcor did not disclose how many are in illegal locations.
"We are reviewing this whole business. Let me start by saying it needs to be regulated properly," Hernando said.
Criticising local authorities, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, chair of the Senate committee on games and amusement, said it is the responsibility of local governments to regulate e-Games cafés that want to operate in their areas. He said cafés that violate Pagcor's charter should not have been issued business permits.
Garry Domingo, chief of the business permits and licensing department at the Quezon City hall, argued that while they gave out permits to several e-Games stations in the city, it was still Pagcor's decision to let them operate.
"The system is operated and regulated by Pagcor," he said.