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Pinoys may be banned from Casinos in PH

Filipinos may soon be banned by the Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corp. (PAGCOR) from its various casinos located in Metro Manila and several urban centers in the provinces.



According to Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, productivity among Filipino gamblers is very low, and gambling generates a host of social problems and casinos would still earn huge profits if locals were barred from patronizing them.



He mentioned that he was terrified that some casinos are specifically targeting middle-income and poor Filipinos as customers.



In addition, he cited the case of Singapore in asking PAGCOR to consider banning Filipinos, at least the poor among them, from its casinos.



He said, “In Singapore, Singaporeans cannot enter casinos. Only foreigners are allowed to patronize gambling complexes there.”



In the course of a budget hearing conducted by the House appropriations committee chaired by Rep. Isidro Ungab of Davao City, PAGCOR chairman Cristino Naguiat Jr. told Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice that they will look into and study the proposal.



During the hearing, Naguiat reported to the Ungab panel where PAGCOR’s income is going. Some P2.250 billion this year and P2.5 billion next year will go to President Aquino’s social fund, which administration critics have labeled as his pork barrel.



The PAGCOR chief said casinos derive 60-70 percent of their income from foreign high rollers and only 30 percent from Filipino patrons.



Accordingly, in his financial report to the Ungab committee, Naguiat said Pagcor earned P40.883 billion in 2012 and is on the way to increasing its income to P42.901 billion this year and P45.472 billion next year.

Corabelle is the Bayanihan's Phillippine News Correspondent.