Pagcor orders closure of LRWC non-compliant e-games, bingo


The Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corp. (Pagcor) has ordered two subsidiaries of listed Leisure & Resorts World Corp. (LRWC) to stop their operations of electronic games and bingo parlors that have been violating regulations.

In separate disclosures released by the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday, LRWC Vice President Katrina Nepomuceno said the firm’s subsidiaries Total Gamezone Xtreme Inc. (TGX) and AB Leisure Exponent Inc. (ABLE) received notices from Pagcor to immediately close their outlets of electronic games and bingo parlors that violate the distance guidelines in Section 2 of Regulation 3 of the Gaming Site Regulatory Manual (GSRM) for Electronic Games.

“TGX was ordered to cease operations of the 17 electronic games sites, while ABLE was ordered to cease operations of its 36 electronic bingo games sites.

“LRWC will send a letter of reconsideration to Pagcor. Should reconsideration be not given, we will transfer the Electronic Games operations at said sites and transfer the same to compliant locations,” Nepomuceno said.

Under the GSRM, electronic gaming sites should be “not less than 200 meters” from schools and places of worship.

Electronic gaming sites may be located within malls, commercial buildings and hotels and resorts.


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    REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9487 June 20, 2007
    Section 1. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation VAGCOR) franchise granted under Presidential Decree No. 1869, otherwise known as the PAGCOR Charter, is hereby further amended to read as follows:
    (1) Section 10, Nature and Term of Franchise, is hereby amended to read as follows:

    “SEC. 10. Nature and Term of Franchise. – Subject to the terms and conditions established in this Decree, the Corporation is hereby granted from the expiration of its original term on July 11, 2008, another period of twenty-five (25) years, renewable for another twenty-five (25) years, the rights, privileges and authority to operate and license gambling casinos, gaming clubs and other similar recreation or amusement places, gaming pools, i.e. basketball, football, bingo, etc. except jai-alai, whether on land or sea, within the territorial jurisdiction of the Republic of the Philippines: Provided, That the corporation shall obtain the consent of the local government unit that has territorial jurisdiction over the area chosen as the site for any of its operations.

    “The operation of slot machines and other gambling paraphernalia and equipment, shall not be allowed in establishments open or accessible to the general public unless the site of these operations are three-star hotels and resorts accredited by the Department of Tourism authorized by the corporation and by the local government unit concerned.

    Jaworski v. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, 419 SCRA 317
    Constitutional Law

    Jaworski v. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation
    419 SCRA 317 (2004)
    While the police may essentially and generally be understood as being utilized for the advancement of what may be considered virtuous materials, it may also be employed to regulate, and in the process incidentally promote, vices such as gambling. In that regard, however, any franchise granted for such purpose would be strictly construed. The legislature being regarded as the guardian of society, courts must not assume that the former intended to part away with its power to regulate public morals.

    In Jaworski, the petitioner questioned the act of PAGCOR of entering into an arrangement with another company for the operation among others, of internet gambling. The Court disposed of the same by referring to what it earlier held in Del Mar v. PAGCOR,363 SCRA 680 (2001), that PAGCOR cannot share its franchise with any other entity. Accordingly, the Court said that the other entity, if it wants to engage in internet gambling, must secure its own franchise and not ride on PAGCOR’s.