Entry Fee for Philippine Casinos?

The Philippine National Tax Research Center says it supports an entry fee of PHP3,500 (US$74) for all Filipino casino visitors; a tax on lottery winnings; multiple taxes for horse racing clubs; and a tax on horse race winnings. Resorts World Manila at left.

NTRC says current law is not being enforced

The Philippine National Tax Research Center, described by CalvinAyre.com as a national “think tank,” has released a report supporting a proposed casino entry fee to be imposed on all Filipinos who patronize the country’s casino. The plan calls for guests to cough up PHP3,500 (US$74) just to pass through the front door.

According to reports, the NTRC report said “players in the identified gambling and betting activities” are not paying their fair share of taxes. Officials from the Philippine Department of Finance countered that PAGCOR and PCSO pay fewer taxes but also must fork over mandatory financial contributions to the government, which pay for economic and health assistance for the country’s people.

Supporters of the new measure say it is tantamount to enforcing existing regulations. According to the current law, “Filipino residents with gross income of at least PHP50,000 in the previous year … are allowed to play in casinos. However, the said provision is neither observed nor imposed. Thus, the new bill aims to discourage Filipinos from playing in casinos” if they cannot afford it. “An entrance fee would only be collected from those who have the financial capacity to splurge some money in the casinos.”

A 20 percent tax on lottery winnings is in order, the NTRC said “for equity reasons, considering that other forms of winnings are subject to the tax.”