Having become quite the hot spot for gambling in the Asian region, the Philippines are getting a new gaming jurisdiction. It will be launched in the Aurora province, located within the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO), which is in Luzon, the nation’s main island. The Aurora province is underdeveloped economically, and this new gaming jurisdiction is expected to provide a boost to the economy there.
Pacific Seaboard Leisure and Entertainment Corp is the master licensor, and will be launching the initiative with online gambling only for phase one. They chose online gambling to start with due to the fact that its simply easier and less costly to launch than brick and mortar casinos are. Pacific Seaboard will enjoy a twenty-five year exclusivity clause that includes both online and land based licensing administered by APECO. They are hoping to attract high quality online gaming businesses through establishing a license fee structure that resembles the one used by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.
As master licensor, Pacific Seaboard will be responsible for receiving and screening applications, and overseeing the financial aspects and legal nuances of the applications. There will be a $40,000 annual charge for an interactive gaming license that includes application fees. The standard annual rate applies to both legal online casinos in the Philippines and live dealer games that are streamed from a land based studio. Licensees will be required to pay a levy totaling 2% of their gross win per month or $5000 per table, whichever is greater. APECO has announced an income tax holiday for new businesses that launch in their district.
The second phase of development will be the land based casinos, which is being classified as ecotourism development for the region. Pacific Seaboard will also be the master licensor for any brick and mortar casinos and casino resorts that emerge in the jurisdiction. According to the chief executive and president of APECO Israel Maducdoc, both APECO and Pacific Seaboard will work together to promote this development to attract investors.
There are two areas that are already earmarked for the casino property developmental phase, including a 496 hectare area of Aurora and a 12,000 hectare area of the San Iidefonso peninsula. The Aurora property is being designed to appeal to VIP customers seeking high end options. In addition, a port expansion estimated to be completed in June 2017 is being designed to support international trading.