The fragmented and diverse gambling regulatory regime in the Philippines could be the subject of consolidation and change following the introduction of House bill AB4192 by the representative for Quezon, Danilo Suarez last week. It is not yet clear whether this bill will also embrace online gambling licensing, although the general wording suggests this may be the case.
Suarez proposes the creation of a National Gaming Commission that would oversee the supervision of government-sanctioned gambling and gaming operations in the country to maximise the government's earnings from all legalised gambling, reports the Phillipines News Agency.
This will be effected by empowering government to assume the role of a regulatory body on gambling and gaming, thus positioning itself to collect more tax and revenue fees whilst improving the cohesion and protection afforded by regulation.
“We can ensure maximisation of earnings from casinos, lotto and sweepstakes operations, small time lottery, cockfighting and horse racing games and other numbers games if we centralise all government regulations and supervision over gaming and gambling in the country,” Suarez, chairman of the House oversight committee, said.
He added that the government was presently unstructured and fragmented in the regulatory sphere. His proposal could impact business currently handled by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp; the lotto and sweepstakes being run by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and horse racing events being operated by the Philippine Racing Commission, as well as cockfighting and other existing numbers games.
Representative Suarez envisages a body managed by a Commissioner and four deputy commissioners, each responsible for a sector by gambling type i.e. casinos, lottery operations, cockfighting and horse racing and with appropriate staffing arrangements.