Philippine outlook clouded by smoking ban, RWM attack

The attack on Resorts World Manila, a likely public smoking ban and a proposed casino entry fee are putting pressure on the Philippine gambling industry. It was the best performing in Asia in 2016 and had been tipped for another year of strong growth. However, the recent attack on Resorts World Manila, a likely blanket public smoking ban, and plans to introduce a PHP3,000 (US$60) casino entry fee may negatively impact visitation and revenues. Smoking bans have historically had a negative impact when they have been introduced elsewhere, while the attack hits a country that has long struggled with a perception that it is not safe. President Rodrigo Duterte announced a draconian nationwide ban on smoking in public places in May, including vape cigarettes, alarming the local casino industry. However, as yet, details are thin on the ground as to what form the ban will take, or whether the government would consider Macau-style...

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