Quezon City Council looks set for a showdown with national gaming regulator PAGCOR after revealing it has now officially approved an ordinance aimed at regulating gambling activities in the city.
City Ordinance 2773-201 – which was largely instigated by the news that Bloomberry Resorts will start developing its second Solaire-branded Philippines integrated resort, Solaire North, in Quezon City this year – includes a range of measures aimed at limiting access to gambling by locals, the most notable being a Php1,500 (US$29) casino entry fee.
Locals will also have to pay Php500 to play at an eGames outlet or Php100 at an eBingo hall, with a Gambling Regulatory Advisory Council to be established to oversee compliance.
However, the ordinance may need approval by the courts before its measures can be implemented with PAGCOR boss Andrea Domingo having earlier this year threatened to block the implementation of any such restrictions by seeking a temporary restraining order in court, citing a Presidential decree as giving the regulator exclusive rights to regulate gaming in the Philippines.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte responded at the time by welcoming any such restraining order “so the courts can decide whether it’s the PAGCOR charter or Local Government Code that has precedence.
“Since the argument is it should be for tourism, it should cater only to tourists. We’ll really make it hard for Quezon City residents to go [inside] the casino,” she said.