The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) has said it will issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop new laws being passed by the Quezon City local government to approve casino gaming.
Pagcor said: “Not taking this next important step is tantamount to the dereliction of its duties as gaming regulator. Pagcor is the government agency that has been mandated to regulate all games of chance in the country. Given the provisions of the law, it is clear that Quezon City’s proposed gaming regulatory ordinance is a violation of national law. With the filing of TRO, we are not only upholding the rule of law but also ensuring that people’s welfare are protected and LGUs will not be given a chance to abuse their authority.”
Pagcor added: “The provisions in the law are clear. Pagcor is vested the authority to ensure that proper regulations are in place so as not to endanger the interests of the country—including cities and LGUs. PAGCOR would like to underscore that if the Quezon City government sees the operation of casinos and integrated resort as something that will endanger the welfare of residents and will do more harm than good, then it can opt not to issue a Mayor’s business permit to Solaire Resort and Casino.”
Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte had said that a gambling regulatory ordinance would be passed to allow Bloomberry to build a Solaire branded casino as part of the Vertis North project in Quezon City. The aim had been to open by 2022.
“Since the argument is it should be for tourism, it should cater only to tourists,” Mr. Belmonte said. “We’ll make it really hard for Quezon City residents to go to the casino.”