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NEWS UPDATES 17 July 2010

Aquino takes on Philippine casinos

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President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday today said he has ordered an evaluation of the proliferation of licensed casinos in the country, even in areas that have no tourists., according to the Manila Times.

“You’re all witness to a proliferation of so many gaming establishments, and some of them I don’t agree with,” the President said to reporters here following the inauguration of the Philippine National Police Training Service School for Values and Leadership.

He cited a proposal to put up a casino in his home province of Tarlac.

”There are zero tourists in that particular area [of Tarlac], yet there exists these gaming facilities that should really target the tourism industry,” President Aquino added.

The President said one has to just look around to know there is a surfeit of casinos in the country. As another example, he cited Cavite, which is host to a number of such gaming facilities in addition to the one already existing in Tagaytay City, the latter being a favorite tourist destination.

He said there were also proposals to put up more casinos in Clark and Angeles City in Pam-panga and Subic.

The President added that the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) itself, which has the exclusive authority to grant casino franchises to private operators, was also undergoing rigid scrutiny.

He earlier said Pagcor that has not been making money for the government.

“[We want to know] what is really being remitted by these gaming centers to the government coffers,” he stressed.

While President Aquino did not rule out the possibility that the livelihood of casino employees might be affected, he stressed that the projected reforms for gaming establishments would be for the common good.

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