Duterte slams door to new casinos’ entry

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he will not grant permit for the construction of new casinos.

Duterte made this remark two days after he announced in a Cabinet meeting the firing of the entire board and management of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation Inc. (NPFI) for leasing its property for a USD1.5 billion casino resort in Parañaque City.

“I will not allow it. I hate gambling. I do not want it. There will be no casinos outside of what are existing here,” Duterte said in his speech during the 117th Anniversary of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

“You do not give gambling licenses or franchise for 75 years. Mean to say that a child is born today and 75 years later, he is that old. There will still be gambling in the city,” he added.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte has instructed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review a lease contract that NPFI has entered into with Landing Resorts Philippines Development Corp. (LRPDC).

Roque said the President was like “fire-breathing dragon” when he announced the sacking of the NPFI officials.

He said Duterte has described the deal as “gravely disadvantageous” to the government.

It was not the first time the President has stopped the construction of new casino.

Duterte earlier ordered to stop any casino project in Boracay Island despite Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (Pagcor) provisional license given to Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group.

The Galaxy Entertainment and its local partner Leisure and Resorts World Corporation are supposed to build a USD500 million casino resort in Boracay Island. (PNA)