The Philippine’s Department of Finance wants to increase the entry fee for casinos to P1,500 from the current fee of P100.
The National Tax Research Center (NTRC) has stated that higher entrance rates would discourage players with low-incomes from visiting casinos.
In a report called “Proposed imposition of casino entrance fee,” the NTRC said: “Notwithstanding its contribution to the country’s economic growth and potential to generate government revenue, gambling also has its attendant social costs which must be managed carefully. There is no need for a bill that would mandate Pagcor to collect a casino entrance fee. Perhaps what can be done is to make the collection of qualifying fee compulsory for players in all casinos operating in the Philippines, whether Pagcor-operated casinos or licensed casinos.”
The country’s casinos attracted an average of 5.56m visits a year. The NTRC pointed out that if 80 per cent of local players were discouraged by the proposed fee, it would still result in P1.67bn in revenues.