Philippines won’t issue new casino licenses

In order to protect current operators in the area, PAGCOR won’t release new casino licenses in Manila for the next five years. Philippines.- The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) will not issue new casino licenses in Manila for the next five years. The decision comes after the four existing operators in Manila’s Entertainment City filed a request arguing that, otherwise, there might be oversupply of casinos in the region.

PAGCOR chairwoman Andrea Domingo said at ASEAN Gaming Summit in Pasay City that they “listened to their investors” after “they gave us (PAGCOR) a position paper to give breathing room for the market space to mature in the National Capital Region.”

In Entertainment City, Bloomberry Resorts was a pioneer of the surge of new enterprises in the area after PAGCOR issued new licenses in the Philippines. Tiger Resorts followed with the launch of Okada Manila last December. Melco owns another license for the City of Dreams Manila (opened in December 2014) and the last one belongs to Travelers International and corresponds to Westside City Resorts Worls, that is set to open in 2021.

“We are looking at protecting those who have taken a risk earlier, who have invested a lot of money,” Domingo explained. PAGCOR’s decision will help licensed operators to secure their initial investment of US$1 billion by restricting the market to the current four companies. Each one is allowed to open venues in two locations.

Domingo also declared that PAGCOR is planning to update its casino policy in order to limit the number of facilities to one per city: “I think one per big city or province is enough. We require a no-objection resolution from the local government unit (LGU). We do not operate anywhere where the LGU has not expressively agreed in writing. We also pay shares to the host city, the host municipality.”