Officials warn against introducing an entrance fee at Philippine casinos

  • Lawmakers propose a $61-dollar entry levy for all casino-goers in the Philippines
  • But this has been cautioned against, especially due to its potential to have a negative impact on the sector’s revenue

Recently, the Representative Rodolfo Albano – a member of the Philippine House of Representatives – presented a bill that would implement an entry charge of PHP3000 (or $61) across all casinos in the Philippines.

philippines casino entry

But Andrea Domingo, head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, has said that the introduction of said entry fee to the country’s casinos would be likely to have a considerable negative effect on mass-market gambling.

On Wednesday, she said, “If the PHP3000 would be imposed as an entrance fee, it would wipe out the whole mass market […] We hope Congress would be listening to all those affected.”

Local Philippine newspapers are reporting that the entrance fee would be put in place to “[ensure that the] person entering any and all casinos has the financial resources to engage in any form of gambling.” Charging people to enter casinos will also restrict gambling addiction, hopes Mr. Albano.

The cost of crime

These monetary measures have returned to the minds of lawmakers and casino operators in the days following the fatal attack carried out in Resorts World Manila casino.

Earlier this month, an attacker – the now late Jessie Carlos – stormed the casino in Manila and left dozens of gamblers dead. Following initial investigations, it is now known that he was heavily addicted to gambling and was hugely in debt.

And while a new entry levy would certainly deter problem gamblers from entering casino doors, Morgan Stanley – an investment banking group – has warned that such a charge could be detrimental to the Philippines’ casino revenue, arguing that it “may deter grind mass [the lower end of the market] and family customers.”

Alex Poon and Praveen Choudhary, two of Morgan Stanley’s analysts, have said, “Filipino gamblers view gambling more as an entertainment compared to Chinese gamblers in Macau.” This reasoning goes some way toward explaining the damaging impact these entry charges could have on revenue gained by family customers and grind mass.

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