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No Casinos on Boracay, Government Insists

Galaxy Entertainment Group, which is hoping to expand into Japan and the Philippines, may have to reconsider its plans for an IR on the island of Boracay after the government again insisted no casinos will be allowed.

Duterte Closes Door on Casino Expansion

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says there will be no further expansion of the gaming industry in his country and raised doubts about the future of major investments that were already in the works.

Duterte Sacks Board of Landing’s Local Partner during IR Groundbreaking

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced he was firing the entire board of Landing International Development’s local partner, just as the two parties broke ground on a US$1.5 billion theme park in Entertainment City, Manila.

Kazuo Okada Arrested in Hong Kong on Fraud Charges

Japanese gaming mogul Kazuo Okada and an associate has been arrested by Hong Kong’s anti-corruption watchdog, according to a filing from Universal Entertainment Corporation.

PAGCOR Refutes Audit Findings

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has challenged the findings of a recent Commission on Audit (COA) report which accused the regulator of giving “excessive perks” to its employees and dodging remittance payments.

Philippines Wants to Ease Visa Processing for Chinese and Indians

The Philippines is reportedly looking for ways to hasten the processing of “visa upon arrivals” for Chinese and Indian tourists after recognizing the importance of the two markets, local media reports.

President Duterte Vows to Keep Boracay Island Free of Gambling

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated that he will not allow gambling to take root on Boracay island, which has been closed to tourism due to environmental degradation. He also clarified that he does not have any financial interest in the rehabilitation of the island amidst allegations that business owners would benefit after the six-month cleanup.

PAGCOR Says License Moratorium Intended to Protect Industry Returns

Japan is not the only nation in Asia struggling with the question of how many IRs should ultimately be allowed in the country. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), for example, has recently decided to put a moratorium on issuing further land-based casino licenses in the country. They say this is designed to protect investments made by existing casino operators.

Udenna to Shift Hotel and Casino Assets to Listed Unit

Privately-owned Udenna Corporation is planning to shift its hotel and casino assets into a listed unit as it pushes further into the tourism sector in the Philippines.

Okada Not Yet Off the Hook for Fraud Charges

Japanese gaming mogul Kazuo Okada is not completely clear of the US$10 million fraud charges filed against him, which is still subject to review from the Department of Justice

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Hard Rock to Open Tomakomai Office

Hard Rock Japan is preparing to open an office in Tomakomai, Hokkaido, in August or September, a further signal that the Orlando, Florida, based operator is focusing its IR efforts on this regional city.

Foreign Tourists May Also Face Gambling Profits Tax

Some foreign tourists who win at casino games at Japanese IRs may be hit with an income tax bill before they leave the country, according to a report in the Asahi Shinbun.

House of Councillors to Begin IR Bill Deliberations

The controversial IR Implementation Bill is set to begin its final stage toward enactment on Friday with deliberations launching in a plenary session of the House of Councillors.

Morgan Stanley Releases Bearish Note on Japan IRs

On Friday, the multinational investment bank and financial services company Morgan Stanley released a research note that suggested a degree of disappointment about the financial terms of the IR Implementation Act.

Osaka Governor Matsui Wants to Select IR Operator Within a Year

Just as he did with the IR Implementation Act, Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui is once again pushing the national government to speed up its deliberations and to move with greater alacrity. He says that Osaka wants to tentatively select its operator partner within a year with an eye to opening the Yumeshima IR by 2024.