Phase one of the new gaming jurisdiction that is being developed in the Philippines will be an implementation of online gambling licensing. The online platform was chosen as the initial priority because it is logistically an easier segment of the gambling industry to launch and less costly. The new gaming jurisdiction will be established in the Aurora province on the nation’s main island of Luzon within the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO).
The master licensor has been named as the Pacific Seaboard Leisure and Entertainment Corp. The Aurora province is classified as an economically underdeveloped region, and the overall gambling initiative is expected to strengthen the local economy in the region. Pacific Seaboard will be awarded exclusivity for a minimum of 25 years that spans both legal online casinos in the Philippines and brick and mortar gambling licensing. Their objective for attracting high quality online gaming businesses is to establish a license fee structure reminiscent of the one used by Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.
Pacific Seaboard will regulate the receipt and screening of applications, as well as the financial and legal aspects of the applications. Interactive gaming licenses will carry an annual forty thousand dollar fee, which includes the application fee. This rate applies to both traditional online gambling as well as live dealer gambling environments that are operated from a studio environment via web streaming. In addition to the annual fee, there will be a 2% levy tax applied to businesses based on the monthly gross win or five thousand dollars per table, whichever is greater. An income tax holiday will be initially applied to all gambling businesses launching in the APECO gaming jurisdiction as an incentive to attract businesses.
In the second phase of the gambling jurisdiction initiative, the region will be focusing on ecotourism development through land based casinos and casino resorts. As with the online gambling platform, Pacific Seaboard will be responsible for issuing licenses for the land based properties, enjoying the same twenty five year exclusivity arrangement. They will also be handling the acquisition of new investors along with APECO.
So far two specific destinations have been designated for development of the brick and mortar phase of the initiative, as well as a port expansion to support international trading. Twelve thousand hectares on the San Iidefonso peninsula as well as four hundred ninety six hectares in Aurora have been earmarked for the casino properties. The region in Aurora is intended to attract the wealthier, VIP customer base who would be seeking high end options.