No permit for e-gambling in Baguio – PAGCOR chief


BAGUIO CITY – The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) will not approve applications for e-games in Baguio City because of the refusal of the city government to issue an official endorsement for the operation of electronic games coupled with the resounding opposition from the cross section of the society, a senior PAGCOR official said here.

Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat, Jr. assured this in a recent visit in the Summer Capital stressing there is no chance for the agency to bring casino games in the city since it has been a known fact that the city government is against all form of gambling which affects the morals of the people.

“If we are not welcome in a certain area, we will not force the issue as we know there will be serious complications in the future,” Naguiyat stressed.

Recently, Baguio Apostolic Vicar Bishop Carlito Cenzon expressed strong opposition on the entry of any electronic gambling in the city, saying that the prevalence of legal and illegal forms of gambling greatly compromises the morals of the people who have earlier voiced out their vehement objections to gambling operations in the city.

This after reports have it that there is an electronic casino (e-casino) operating in one of the malls in the city and that there are more plans to put up more including electronic bingo (e-bingo) in some areas if the city government allows it.

Although this has yet to be verified, Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan recently authorized the bishop to look into this and make a report on the matter so the city government can act upon it and order its immediate closure once it has been found to be operating without the benefit of securing the city’s no objection to the e-casino operations.

The city government has been a staunch opposition against legal or illegal gambling prompting the city council to approve Resolution 173. series of 2013.

The resolution urges the Baguio City Police Office to act upon and stop all and any form gambling activities.

Despite the opposition, Naguiat said this will not stop PAGCOR from giving any kind of aid to the city such as what it has already given for the construction of buildings or facilities for schools like Baguio City National High School and Philippine Military Academy.

“We just have to respect kung anong opinion ng mga tao, mahirap yung papasok ka sa isang gulo. Kung yun ang opinion (stand on e-games) nila, we respect it,” he said.

Domogan welcomed the decision of PAGCOR not to operate its e-casino games in the city without the consent of the local government, citing that it will send a clear message to those intending to operate such e-gambling activities that they have to respect the stand of the local government against all forms of gambling in the city.

“Gambling is a social menace that will affect the stability of a certain locality that is why it is best for the city government to oppose all forms of gambling operations in order to help in the uphill climb of bringing back the morals of the people,” Domogan stressed.

He ordered all police operating units to intensify their operations against all forms of gambling so that they will not be branded as protectors of gambling in the city.