When Kim Wong faced the Senate investigation on Tuesday, he introduced himself to the public as a “casino junket operators,” a term that may seem new to most Filipinos who may not be familiar with the gaming business.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), however, said casino junket operation is an old business, subjected to legalities and taxes and legally servicing casinos in the country.
Source: – news.abs-cbn.com, March 31, 2016
Is Casino Junket Operators Legal or Illegal in the Philippines?
In a nutshell, casino junkets operators are trips offered to frequent gamblers or high rollers that are often organized by independent agents or casino operators. These trips involve free-of-charge transportation and accommodation, certain food and beverage perks, and other complimentary services set to enhance the gambling experience of invited guests. But the question remains, is this practice legal or illegal in the Philippines?
The Laws and Regulations Surrounding Casino Operations
To asses the legality of casino junket operators in the Philippines, it’s essential to delve into the laws and regulations that are pertinent to casino operations in the country.
- The Presidential Decree No. 1067-A (PAGCOR Charter) and Presidential Decree No. 1869 (Amending the PAGCOR Charter)
In 1977 and 1983 respectively, these decrees were issued by the Philippine Government, granting the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) the power to regulate and operate all games of chance in the country. This included not only regulating physical casinos but also “junket gaming, special junket operation and junket tours.”
- The Republic Act No. 9487 (Amending the PAGCOR Charter)
In 2007, an amendment to the PAGCOR Charter was enacted that further extended PAGCOR’s franchise and strengthened its powers to continue exercising regulatory functions over all gaming aspects in the country, including casino junkets.
Clarification on Casino Junket Operators Status
Based on the decrees and amending acts mentioned above, the legal status of casino junkets in the Philippines is clear. Casino junket operations, when conducted in accordance with PAGCOR’s rules and regulations, are considered perfectly legal.
PAGCOR, as the government’s gaming regulator, sets the guidelines and policies for operating casino junkets in the country. Casino operators need to apply for and obtain a permit and license from PAGCOR to conduct junket gaming operations. Violating any of these rules and regulations during junket operations may result in penalties from PAGCOR.
It’s important to note that to protect the interests and welfare of Filipino players, PAGCOR has strict rules regarding junket operations. These are meant to ensure that the casino operators or independent agents conducting the junket adhere to a strict code of conduct and ethical standards.
In conclusion, casino junkets operators, when conducted within the parameters of the rules and regulations set by PAGCOR, are legal in the Philippines. The key factor is strict adherence to these rules to ensure fairness, transparency, and to safeguard the interest of the players.
However, it’s crucial that players are aware of the legalities involved in participating in such junkets. It is always recommended to carefully research and understand the terms and conditions before joining any casino junket. Participating in an unofficial or illegal casino junket can lead to potential risks and legal consequences.
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