Quezon City’s Mayor-elect Joyce Belmonte has said that she would make sure that the mandatory casino levy is implemented once she takes charge of the office.
Earlier, Quezon city council passed an ordinance to introduce a mandatory casino entry fee for locals.
According to the approved new regulatory provision, Quezon city residents would have to pay PHP1,500 (circa US$30) entry levy per 24-hour for their visit at any gambling establishment within the city’s jurisdiction. Also, in case of an annual membership, gamblers would have to shell PHP30,000 annually.
The new regulation has been opposed by the country gambling regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor). It has said that introducing the mandatory levy is not under the city council’s jurisdiction.
Pagcor had filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Quezon City to prevent a local ordinance restricting gambling from pushing through.
Talking about her plans to implement the mandatory levy, in an interview with Calvin Ayre, Belmonte said: “I think what we have to do is write the implementing rules and regulations and that is the task of the executive department and the executive hasn’t written the implementing rules and regulations yet.”
Legal experts and those familiar with the matter, however, doubt that the city council’s decision to implement mandatory entry fee for locals will stand any chance in court.