Philippines to offer degree for gambling

Apr 30, 2002 2:02 AM

The Philippines is planning to make gambling worth studying for in terms of a career.

According to a Reuters report, the Southeast Asia country will soon be the first in the world to offer a degree course in both blackjack and roulette.

The only barrier is if the country approves plans for a gambling academy.

"It is a baccalaureate degree, Bachelor of Science in Gaming Management, something like that so we can professionalize it," Efraim Genuino, head of state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) told a local radio station.

Pending approval from the authorities, the academy plans to feature courses blackjack, poker and roulette.

"We know many will apply because jobs are guaranteed," Genuino said. "What’s important here is for us to be able to export people who can help our country."

Approximately 7.5 million Filipinos work abroad and the money they send home is a major source of income for many families.

Neighboring countries such as Laos and Myanmar had already expressed an interest in the gambling course, according to a company official.

The Philippines has produced at least one well-known, reputed gambler ”” ousted president Joseph Estrada.

The 65-year-old Estrada is currently serving jail time for receiving alleged bribes from illegal gambling syndicates.