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Monday, June 24, 2024

Cayetano: ‘Be more critical of e-sabong’ 

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Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano is challenging colleagues to be more critical of the 25-year franchise applications from e-sabong operators amid mounting opposition from religious leaders and other legislators.

 “The emergency use of the Philippine Amusement and Games Corp. of e-sabong, so to speak, is to grant licenses to operators because the agency said it was running out of cash. But why would you give e-sabong operators full access or full authorization for 25 years when we’ve regulated them for barely six months, we haven’t seen whether it is beneficial or harmful or neutral to society?” he asked.

Congress is considering the approval of the second franchise application of an e-sabong operator despite existing regulations put in place by PAGCOR since April, he said. 

“We know that one member of Congress, even five or 10, cannot tell PAGCOR to do something and they’ll just do it. The President can, not us. But we do have a say in the granting of franchises, so why would you give them 25 years to operate without fully knowing its effect on society?” he questioned.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines earlier denounced the legalization of e-sabong as a “disastrous” move by the government.

Cayetano , who rejected the approval of the 25-year franchise granted by Congress to e-sabong operator Lucky 8 Star Quest Inc. in September, said the best outcome would still be for Pagcor to revoke the operating licenses it has given to at least seven operators.

He urged legislators to allow PAGCOR to implement its existing regulatory framework for e-sabong operators for at least six months, and commission a report on the revenues generated from licensing fees and the operations’ impact on society, instead of outrightly granting 25-year franchises.

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