THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) has joined forces with the Philippine National Police (PNP) to impose stricter penalties on government officials and employees who play in casinos in the country.
On January 24, 2018, the PNP turned over warning signages to Pagcor and its licensed casinos to remind government employees who will be caught gambling “will be arrested and charged.”
The prohibitions are pursuant to Presidential Decree1869 or the Pagcor Charter and Memorandum Circular 8, Series of 2001, which list persons not allowed to play in gaming establishments around the country. Pagcor carries such provision in its the Responsible Gaming (RG) Code of Practice (CoP). The CoP aims to minimize the potential harm of gambling among players and the community, prevent gambling addiction and prohibit underage gambling.
PNP chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, who graced the event held at the Solaire Resort and Casino, said the stricter measures against government workers who engage in gambling are in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to promote a country that is free from corruption and illegal drugs.
De la Rosa explained that the campaign signages will serve as a stern warning to government employees to abide by the law including keeping from entering, staying or playing in casinos.
In December 2017, Pagcor issued a reiteration of the provisions in the RG CoP that included (1) prohibition of loan sharks and financiers in all gaming establishments; and (2) penalty of P100,000 per entry per person for government officials connected directly to the operation of the government or any of its agencies and their immediate relatives (parents, spouse and children); members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including the Army, Navy Air Force and the Philippine National Police; Gaming Employment License holders directly or indirectly involved in gaming operations; and persons included in the National Database of Restricted Persons; and closure of gaming sites that allow entry of minors (persons below 21 years of age).
Pagcor Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo is hopeful that the partnership with PNP will lead to a better implementation of the RG Code of Practice in the country. “We need to keep a close watch on all casino areas nationwide,” she said.
Before the intensive campaign, government executives who entered the gaming premises were immediately escorted out. This time, the Pagcor chairman said, government employees who will not abide by rules and guidelines will be dealt with accordingly.
Domingo added that Pagcor has already established its compliance and monitoring systems in all licensed gaming venues. It had also imposed serious sanctions on licensees that did not adhere to the rules and guidelines.