MANILA, Philippines ? Gambling and gaming establishments are now allowed to operate in Pasig City after the city council passed an ordinance legalizing and regulating their existence.
Ordinance No. 17, authored by Councilor Ronaldo Lipana, is aimed at regulating the establishment and operation of gambling and betting activities in the city.
The local law covers online Internet gaming centers, poker, card games, casino, bingo, lotto, off-track betting, jai alai fronton and other similar activities approved by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).
According to the city council, the ordinance aims ?to prevent the proliferation? of gambling and betting centers by requiring them to undergo a stricter process in getting licenses.
Ordinance 17 is the first law of its kind in Pasig City. Before it was enacted in December, local officials said there was no specific law governing gambling and betting stations in the city, which made it easy for businessmen to set up gambling and gaming shops.
Under the law, gambling and betting stations would have to get permits from City Hall, particularly the mayor?s office. They also need to present an accreditation from Pagcor.
The ordinance also prohibits the setting up of such establishments within a 200-m radius from the nearest entrance or exit of a church, hospital, government building and educational institutions.
Owners of gaming, gambling, and betting centers should not admit minors or those below 18 years of age in their establishments, unless accompanied by an adult.
If the manager or owner doubts a customer?s age, he should ask for the customer?s identification card, the ordinance said.
Violators will face confiscation of their equipment and the revocation of their permits and will be fined up to P5,000, with a maximum jail term of one year.