International edition
June 21, 2021

Also facing Pagcor suspension

Jack Lam's casinos shut down

Jack Lam's casinos shut down
Gambling tycoon Jack Lam lost his right to run his 300-hectare Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino here after the state-owned Clark Development Corp. (CDC), which leases out lands in Clark Freeport, a former US military base, suspended the certificate of reg
Philippines | 12/08/2016

Gambling tycoon Jack Lam lost his right to run his 300-hectare Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino here after the state-owned Clark Development Corp. (CDC), which leases out lands in Clark Freeport, a former US military base, suspended the certificate of registration and tax exemption (CRTE) of his company, Noel Manankil, CDC president and chief executive officer, said.

T

he CRTE is equivalent to a mayor’s permit.

The suspension was based on an order given by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Monday, Manankil said.

Lam ran into trouble when the Bureau of Immigration (BI) rounded up on Nov. 24 more than 1,300 Chinese nationals employed in his online gaming venture here.

The CDC suspension order covered the casino and the online operations of Next Game, Manankil said.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has also suspended the license of Lam to operate casinos in Fort Ilocandia Resort and Clark.

Manankil clarified that the CDC was not taking over the Fontana estate. “This is not like the Mimosa (Leisure Estate) which CDC took over in 1998 over unpaid leases,” Manankil said, referring to the resort developed and operated by former Tourism Secretary Antonio Gonzales. Fil-Estate won the bid last year to privatize Mimosa, including its golf course.

In Ilocos Norte province on Monday, a commotion took place when the police inspected the online gambling casino operated by Lam in Fort Ilocandia in Laoag City

Players, many of them Chinese, and employees scampered when the police arrived to conduct a validation of the casino’s ownership, said Senior Supt. Edgar Allan Okubo, head of the intelligence group of the Ilocos regional police.

Lam has been hit with a double black eye after authorities proved he did not only hire illegal Chinese workers but his illegal online gaming casino at Fontana Casino and Leisure Park at the Clark Freeport, Pampanga, has no license.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday said the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza) has issued a certification that it has not issued a license to Lam to run a lucrative online casino catering mostly to Chinese high rollers.

Ceza is the only other body apart from Pagcor which could issue an online gaming franchise in the country

“Ceza has not authorized any of its operators to set up office or any of its operations in the Clark Freeport. It is very apparent that some foreigners are violating our laws. We will not tolerate that,” said Aguirre.

Lam’s lawyer, Raymond Fortun, had previously insisted that Lam had obtained a license from Ceza to run an online casino at Fontana’s luxury villas. He gave reporters a copy of Fontana’s deal with a sub-lessee, Next Games Outsourcing Inc., to run a business process outsourcing services, including “other information technology services related to the gaming industry” inside Lam’s casino complex.

Aguirre said the Ceza certification would bolster the case of economic sabotage and bribery to be filed by the BI and the National Bureau of Investigation against Lam anchored largely on the arrest of 1,316 Chinese nationals with no work permits inside his Fontana complex.



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