Presidential Decree 1067 A – A Decree To Legalize Casinos and Create PAGCOR

Under the Marcos administration, Presidential Decree Number 1067-A was drafted, and President Ferdinand Marcos signed this Decree into law on Jan 1, 1977. This Presidential Decree officially legalized the opening of casinos within the Philippines. The purpose of the creation of PD No. 1067-A as a Philippine gambling law was due to the government's need to tap potential domestic resources from which funds could be generated to finance any infrastructure and socio-civic development projects, particularly within Metro Manila.

Essentially, PD No. 1067-A was tasked to improve the living conditions of locals through a surge of gambling revenue to promote local socioeconomic welfare and grow a healthier environment. The Decree would effectively work side by side with developing the Philippines ’ tourist industry through establishing more amusement and recreational zones and destinations to attract additional tourist dollars.

Presidential Decree No. 1067-A prevented the continued proliferation of illegal gaming activities in underground casinos and clubs within the Philippines that ran rampant beforehand. The Decree also facilitated the immediate creation of the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation, otherwise known as PAGCOR, and clearly defined its powers and function.

This organization would be government-owned, controlled, and operated, PAGCOR would ideally become the central regulatory for all games of chance in the Philippines otherwise not outlined in other laws and by other franchises. This would effectively allow for more government control, direction, and supervision of gaming activities. PAGCOR would then be able to license, establish, and conduct games within clubs, casinos, and sports pools. PD 1067-A also outlined how the revenue generated by PAGCOR would further assist in public projects and development.

How Does PD No. 1067-A Affect Casino Gambling in the Philippines?

Under PD 1067-A, entities were able to obtain licenses to legally operate and conduct games under the regulatory oversight of PAGCOR. Therefore, PD 1067-A created the emerging environment for legal gaming in the Philippines which helped build the gaming-mecca as we know it today. Its franchise and powers enable the government to regulate and centralize Philippine gambling through an appropriate channel.

PAGCOR originally began its legal gambling efforts with floating casinos, however, after a devastating fire aboard a ship-based casino PAGCOR swiftly changed its focus to land-based operations. Nonetheless, PAGCOR is responsible for all gaming operations within the Philippines whether on land, water, or online. PAGCOR has several responsibilities in terms of its wide-reaching legal powers and such functions and responsibilities are clearly outlined and defined within Presidential Decree 1067-A. Within such Decree, an overseeing board of directors was established to manage PAGCOR’s operations, and clearly stated the functions and duties of such members.

The Effect of PD No. 1067-A on Philippine Online Casino Gambling

PD 1067-A did not affect Philippines friendly offshore online casinos and their operations. Critics could say that instead, the Decree affects Philippine-based online gambling activities, however, there is no language within PD 1067-A that explicitly mentions online channels and internet gaming platforms.

However, it is easy for critics to assume that PD 1067-A may touch on the subject due to the fact that online Philippine-based gambling without the licensing of PAGCOR may be an issue due to being based with its jurisdiction. Nevertheless, other Philippine gaming laws such as the Information Technology Act do address online gaming, however, that Act was created long after Presidential Decree 1067-A. Therefore, PD 1067-A does not in any way affect online casino gambling within the Philippines in any way, shape, or form.

The Outcome Of PD 1067 A

PD 1067-A was created after the government realized the need for centralized supervision and management for all the games of chance offered in the Philippines and therefore created PAGCOR. PD 1067-A was eventually consolidated along with other Presidential Decree’s under PD No. 1869 in 1983. After fusing underneath PD 1869, PD 1067-A helped strengthen a core piece of the Philippine’s gambling legislation.