Philippines gaming regulator Pagcor has announced a moratorium on new casino licenses nationwide following a direct order from President Rodrigo Duterte.
According to a report in the Inquirer, only applications received before 13 January 2018 to build new casinos in the Philippines will be considered with Pagcor currently drawing up a detailed memo outlining the new restrictions.
“The President told me last January 11 to freeze the entry of new casinos because there are already many of them and there are more wanting to apply,” said Pagcor boss Andrew Domingo.
“We’re just processing now the applications we received before the President ordered the moratorium. After that, as of January 13, we’ve stopped accepting applications.”
Pagcor has recently issued three new casino licenses in Cebu – Emerald casino which is owned by businessman Dennis Uy, Asian Gaming Group’s Millennium and usinessman Dennis Uy, Asian Gaming Group’s Millennium and Universal casino of the Gokongwei Group’s Universal casino.
Domingo also pointed to Clark County – home to six operational casinos – as a major casino hub that “can be like Las Vegas with the airport there and the planned high speed train to Manila.”
However, she said that the issuance of more casino licenses would be put on hold.
“We’re stopping and we’ll let the market mature first,” she said.