Rodrigo Duterte said that he ordered the closure of all forms of online gambling in the country.
Philippines.- Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines, who has been on the tabloids for months for being notoriously against the gambling industry, has now announced his intentions to halt all online gambling activity in the country.
Duterte commented that online gambling wasn’t beneficial to the Philippines and that’s why he decided to close the firms that offer the service. “I am ordering the closure of all online gaming (firms). All of them. They have no use,” he said. Despite announcing what he’s planning to do, he didn’t actually indicate when he intends to impose a ban, or how it would work, he only specified that the government is currently incapable of regulating the industry.
The news were announced during a meeting which was centered in populist actions where he was detailing a 2017 budget programme. When Duterte first entered the office he made it clear that he would be going after the owners of online gambling sites who offered these services to Philipppine citizens. He announced that he would analyse the possibility of resumption of online gambling if specific taxes are paid, and as long as parlors are away from sensitive places such as schools or churches. “I was mad because even the youth are gambling and there was no way of collecting the proper taxes. Pay the correct taxes. Gamble until you die. I do not really care,” he had said.
The Philippines is currently one of the countries in Asia that attract a lot of foreign tourists. Specialists estimate that if the government pulls through and decides to shut down or not renew licenses of those who operate online gambling sites, the country could lose more than US$215 million in annual revenues.