Philippine leader says no to proposed gambling university
By Paul
Philippine president Gloria Arroyo on Monday rejected proposals to open what may have been the world’s first gambling university, after opposition from the Catholic church.

Arroyo is a devout Catholic, and The Philippines is an overwhelmingly Catholic country. Arroyo stressed in a radio interview that she did not want gambling to become a way of life for the Filipinos. The university was to offer courses in how to run legal gambling operations.

'We don't want to cultivate a culture of gambling,' Arroyo said.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) said last week it hoped to set up an academy that offers degrees in casino operations and management, as well as short-term courses for croupiers in popular games such as blackjack, roulette, craps and poker, as well as non-degree programmes for tellers, casino accountants, bingo managers, building administrators and security personnel.

PAGCOR, a state-run body which regulates and controls existing legal gaming establishments in the country, explained that it already offers short-term courses in card dealing and related subjects to employees of cruise ships.

Arroyo said that while the law allowed for state-run casinos in this country, she would not allow them an expansion of gambling – a tough stance considering the revenue boost that the state-run casinos represent for the cash-strapped government.

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