Regulation of gambling sites in the city proposed

Sep 11, 2017

Banking on a specific provision of the Gaming Site Regulation for Bingo games issued by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) that allows local government units to enact specific guidelines on the establishment of a gaming site within their territorial jurisdiction, two city councillors have filed a proposed legislative measure that would regulate the place where legitimate and government authorized gambling operations will be allowed in the city.

Entitled as, “Regulating the establishment of gaming sites authorized by PAGCOR in the City of Baguio” the proposed ordinance authored by City Councilors Maria Mylen Victoria Yaranon and Elaine Sembrano intends to augment efforts in providing more power and authority for the City of Baguio to control and regulate the operation of PAGCOR authorized gambling operations in the city.

As provided for in the said proposed regulation particularly in Section 3 thereof which states that, “This Ordinance hereby prohibits all traditional bingo, e-bingo or activities or similar games of chance, in all City Government properties, including but not limited to, City Government offices and facilities, City Government Residential and Commercial Buildings or Lands under lease of any mode, vacant public lands and other city properties similarly situated”. Likewise E-games, E-Bingo and Traditional Bingo games and other similar games of chance operation outlets whether it be its business location, gaming site, receiving area, office, outlet or warehouse, including those located in malls or arcades, commercial buildings, three star hotels and resorts shall have to comply with the following gaming site location requirements: (a) Not less than four hundred (400) meters from any school, place of worship, cockpit, horse-racing outlet, public market, informal settlers community, and/or resettlement area; (b) Gaming sites must not be less than seven hundred (700) meters apart from each other; (c) The site location distance must be duly certified by a licensed geodetic engineer; (d) Measurement of distance from a proposed gaming site to any school, place of worship, cockpit, horse-racing outlet, public market, informal settlers community or resettlement area will be measure using radial or point to point straight distance from property line to property line. Distance from the proposed gaming site to another gaming site shall be measured using radial or point to point straight distance from property line to property line; (e) No Stand-Alone gaming site shall be allowed; and (f) Written consent of the owner or manager of the commercial building.

It further provides in the said proposed ordinance that no business permit shall be issued to any bingo, e-bingo, card games, lotto and other similar games of chance or gambling operation that list any prohibited site as provided for as its business location, gaming site, receiving area, office, outlet or warehouse.

In case of violation of the said proposed regulation a fine of five thousand pesos shall be meted out as well as the confiscation and destruction of gambling equipment and paraphernalia. In case the violator is a juridical entity then its president or manager shall be the liable persons.

Finally the proposed ordinance also provides that upon its approval, all existing e-games, bingo, e-bingo, traditional bingo games and other similar games of chance operating in the area prohibited by the said law shall be given six months within which to relocate to places that are compliant with the said regulation otherwise it shall be subject to closure.

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