Filipino legislator proposes entry fee for locals

    Filipino legislator Peter Unabia has proposed a bill in the country’s Congress seeking to impose a PHP3,500 ($80) entrance fee for locals visiting casinos.Unabia said House Bill 4859 will prevent financially inadequate persons from entering casinos.Unabia said the charter of market regulator PAGCOR does not stipulate any requirements for an entry fee for anyone who wants to play in a casino.

    However, Section 14 (3) (b) of Presidential Decree 1869 states that a resident must have a gross income of at least P50,000 for the previous year, as certified by the Bureau of Internal Revenue to be allowed to play.“In reality, however, this requirement is neither observed nor imposed,” Unabia said.

    Unabia said PAGCOR has been implementing their built-in controls such as the issuance of player tracking system (PTS) cards or loyalty cards for casino patrons; setting minimum bets of P500 in a single play for baccarat tables and establishing casinos in locations where lower income gamblers are unlikely to enter, such as five-star hotels.“The imposition of an entrance fee will discourage the locals from gambling in casinos,” Unabia said.