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President Duterte Now in Full Support of Gambling in the Philippines

After years of standing against gambling, President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has stated that he has given the activity his full support. With the need to make money during the worldwide pandemic, Duterte placed a full focus on gambling as a route out.

According to a transcript that was released by his office late on Wednesday, Duterte said that Filipino people should go right ahead and partake in gambling. “Now that we need money, the most sensible thing is really just to encourage those activities”, he stated.

Rodrigo Duterte is completely focused on gambling

The President went on to state that casinos and other online gaming operators that cater mostly to Chinese clients should proceed with paying the correct taxes. This comes about following a review of a lease contract for a $1.5 billion casino back in 2018 – one that didn’t get built in the end – and then a move in 2019 to halt lotteries being operated by the sweepstakes office of the government. In 2018, Duterte made the bold statement that he “hates” gambling, resulting in many believing that the sector was doomed for the Philippines.

Following his somewhat unexpected U-turn on the industry, though, gaming stocks rose on Thursday morning. This managed to buck the trend of the Philippines stock index’s decline, proving what power the President’s words can have. The Bloomberry Resorts Corp., which is the owner of Solaire Resort & Casino, experienced an increase of 6.5%, while the online gambling company known as PhilWeb Corp went through a 7.5% rise. Perhaps the best alteration came in the form of the Leisure & Resorts World Corp., which managed to bolt around on a two-day decline to close the day at 5.7% higher.

Of course, whether or not Duterte maintains his opinion on gambling once the effects of COVID-19 aren’t being felt as intensely remains a question for the future.

“Why did I allow gambling? We don’t have money…though it may sound not really repulsive but may be repugnant to some, you have to deal with it because we need money for the country”, he said.

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