Over the past few years, the Filipino government of the Philippines has made a concerted effort to focus on economic development in the islands for the benefit of its citizens. The number one initiative has been to promote foreign investment in both the leisure/entertainment and manufacturing industries. See the full review below. T&C's apply to all bonus offers on this site. Click for a list of all jurisdictions.
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Establishment of the Cagayan Economic Zone & Free Port
In 1995, the Filipino legislation passed a bill that established the Cagayan Economic Zone & Free Port Jurisdiction (CEZA) for the Northern Philippines.
The organization's charter is to provide accreditation and licensing for foreign businesses that wish to operate in the area. It is important to note this corporation operates separately from the government of the Philippines, but all activities, including the collection of taxes, have been approved by the federal administration.
For investors willing to bring business concerns to the Northern islands, their companies receive the red-carpet treatment, access to an ever-improving infrastructure (roads, telecommunications, utilities) and significant tax advantages at both the federal and local levels.
The Gaming Industry
While the CEZA is responsible for the licensing of any and all industries looking to do business within the area, they are particularly interested in bringing the leisure industry into the area to prompt more tourism. A big part of these efforts include bringing casino gambling into the area as a means of increasing tax revenues and employment opportunities.
CEZA, which operates separately from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (government owned), licenses both land-based and online casinos.
However, there is a very unusual restriction on gambling in this area. Land-based casinos must be tied to hotel facilities and the gaming operations are only available to hotel guests. Effectively, that means Filipinos who simply live in the area are not allowed to enter the premises for the purpose of gambling.
The online casino industry is regulated in a similar fashion. Companies that own and operate online casinos can apply for licensing with CEZA. However, site access for Filipino residents has to be blocked. Only foreign players are allowed to access and gamble on these sites.
Currently, there is as many as 90-100 online casino sites licensed with CEZA. For what its worth, there are no laws on the books that prohibit Filipinos from using online gambling sites. They just can't use sites licensed by CEZA.
Level of Regulatory Involvement for the Gaming Industry
As a gaming regulatory body, CEZA operates in much the same fashion as Costa Rica. They offer business licensing, which provides specific guidelines that companies must abide by in order to maintain good standing.
However, they don't provide a long list of gaming regulations like those provided by jurisdictions like the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority. As such, gamblers are somewhat exposed and therefore encouraged to proceed with caution in order to avoid rogue online casino sites.
Cagayan Economic Zone & Free Port Jurisdiction was established in 1995. It’s located in the Northern Philippines and is responsible for the licensing of any and all industries looking to do business within the area.
Click to visit Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) website.
Posted by CCJ Team