MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker is pushing for a measure that would require casinos to charge steep entrance fees to deter the poor from gambling.
Isabela 1st District Representative Rodolfo Albano III filed a bill seeking a P3,000-entrance fee in all casinos nationwide, following the Resorts World Manila attack perpetrated by a gambling addict who was deep in debt.
“The Resorts World casino tragedy…called attention to the sinister effects of gambling addiction especially among those who do not have or can ill afford the financial resources needed to engage in casino gambling,” Albano said in his explanatory note.
He filed the measure days after former government employee Jessie Carlos fired shots and set tables on fire at the posh Resorts World Manila, which led to 37 deaths.
Carlos, who killed himself after the attack, was found to have incurred huge debts due to gambling. (READ: Resorts World gunman attended hearing for P6M forfeiture case before attack)
The attack is the subject of a House investigation. (READ: 3 questions answered at House probe into Resorts World attack)
The bill seeks to mandate the creation of a special fund from the entrance fees, which will be used for the maintenance of youth welfare centers of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“It only seeks to address some poor people who have no more money and yet go inside and gamble all they have left for their families…. Deterrent also to poor addicts,” Albano said in an interview with reporters.
House leaders are already drafting a separate bill that seeks to transfer to Congress the power of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to grant licenses to casinos.
Read the full text of Albano’s bill below: