Government officials to be banned from attending casinos

Government officials to be banned from attending casinos

Monday, July 18, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
Civil servants are the latest target of new Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte

Government officials in the Philippines have been banned from attending casinos by new president Rodrigo Duterte, who is continuing his crackdown on the gambling industry.

As part of his crusade to improve the image of the Government, Duterte has ordered a clampdown on civil servants, demanding that they are at their desks eight hours a day and that they are promptly back to work from lunch at 1pm.

As part of this drive, Duterte has reportedly promised to tell the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) boss Andrea Domingo to implement Presidential Decree No. 1067-B, to van government employees, as well as their families, from casino establishments.

He is reported as saying: “You’re in the government, you only earn a certain amount, why would you gamble?”

There are a number of different regulations that would satisfy this demand. A 2001 circular also prohibits heads of agencies and departments from going to or playing in casinos, while 1067-B bans government officials and members of the Armed Forces. It has been reported that there are 1.41 million government employees nationwide and a blanket ban will no doubt be felt in the country’s casinos.

One of Duterte’s first proclamations since being voted in as president at the start of the month was to demand PAGCOR rescind its online licences for fear that the Philippines was experiencing a proliferation of gambling activities.  The actual detail on this pronouncement has so far been light, and PAGCOR has been able to extend some expired licences on a month-by-month basis while it sorts out what the government wants its strategy to be.

However Duterte has also said that his government will make use of funds from gambling activities for public services, suggesting that Duterte sees a future for the gambling industry.

Totally Gaming Says: “Duterte is clearly no fan of the gambling industry, despite the fact that Credit Suisse forecasts the country to generate gaming revenue of $6 billion by 2018. The new president is an explosive type though and we can expect more of a shake-up from his first month in office.”

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