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New Casino Jurisdiction Established in the Philippines
- May 23, 2016 By Oliver Young -
2014 was a very significant year for the gambling industry in the Philippines. First, a new remote gambling law was proposed and passed towards the end of the year and then in 2015, it was reported that casino revenues and profits rose significantly compared to 2013.
Bearing all that in mind, it is not surprising that the Philippines decided to launch a new online gambling licencing jurisdiction.
Located in Casiguran, Aurora Province
The new jurisdiction will be placed in Casiguran, which is part of Aurora Province and it is only 1bout 170 miles away from Cagayan, where First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corp is already issuing licences for land-based and internet gaming. The jurisdiction will be located in the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone. Aurora is part of Central Luzon, one of the provinces which has the fastest population growth in all of the country. The decision was reported in local media and it was remarked that the initial emphasis will be on licence issuing, but that the possibility of establishing land-based casinos in the area is not excluded and might be exploited in the future.
A $40,000 Fee Will Be Charged
Pacific Seaboard Leisure and Entertainment Corp has been named exclusive master licensor. The company will hold this position for the following 25 years. Their CEO, Victor Lazatin, was queried by local newspapers and he stated that online gaming is the primary focus, because it is much easier to set up an online operator, but that plans for land-based casinos remain open.
The new jurisdiction will not be very different from the already established Cagayan. Lazatin also said that all applications should be submitted directly to his company and that all of the applicant operators will be carefully screened, especially the financial and legal aspects of their work. Pacific Seaboard Leisure and Entertainment Corp will not be able to issue a licence without a prior consent from the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority. The Authority will be compensated with $40,000 per year for each interactive gaming licence, regardless whether the operator in question is providing only software-based online casino games, or live streamed dealer game as well.
In addition to the $40,000 fee, there’ll also be a levy fee of 2% on each operators gross month wins, or a $5,000 fee per table. In this case, the higher amount will be charge and deduced from the operator’s account.
Further Developments in the Area Expected
The opening of the jurisdiction is expected to speed up development activities in the area. It has already been reported that a port will be opened in the summer of 2017. Moreover, it has been announced that more than 10,000 hectares of forest located on San Ildefonso will become available for development in the future.
Casiguran is 8 hours north up the road from Manila, but a helicopter ride from Manila to Casiguran airport takes less than 50 minutes and the Zone is only about five minutes away from the airport. This will undoubtedly be a further boost for the growing casino industry in the Philippines.