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Online Casino News - April, 2009

Meridian Vista Gaming Gets Boot from First Cagayan


  Seed Newsvine

by Elizabeth Nguyen, News Staff Writer

April 2, 2009

Just when it looked like the Philippines would become the next foster parent for online gambling regulation, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) has issued a mandate to stop all activities related to online gambling operations, including the testing of online wagering software and other telecommunication infrastructures. Coming down on Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation (MVGC), the cease and desist order is a major blow to the Cagayan Economic Zone.

Originally authorized and licensed by the CEZA to set up jai-alai kiosks and telecommunications operations to enable online wagering, MVGC has been quite busy doing all it could to collect on its newfound freedom - perhaps going too far in this regard. Reports have surfaced stating MVGC went too far than allowed by law, which ultimately may have gotten the rug pulled out from them.

It was the Office of Government-owned and Controlled Corporations (OGCC) who first stepped in to overturn the authorization by CEZA, giving MVGC free reign to set up betting operations catering to jai-alai, which is a very popular pastime in the Philippines. According to the OGCC, Meridien Vista had operated outside of its restricted jurisdiction and thus abused its licensing privileges.

These accusations were later proven true during hearings which showed that MVGC had operated in the Camarines provinces, Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela, the latter two of which were originally trial areas before MVGC was given strict jurisdictional restrictions under the Cagayan Economic Zone and Free Port Interactive Gaming Act.

What this means for Asia's first online gaming jurisdiction, First Cagayan (which is overseen by CEZA), is that they mean business. In other words, when they say they are here to regulate online gambling, they aren't kidding. And not that they would even need it or would stand to benefit from it, First Cagayan certainly deserve a whitelisting by the UK Gambling Commission.



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