Due to the urgent needs of the government for funds because of the coronavirus pandemic, Malacañang has ordered the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to issue licenses to operate to some online cockfighting or “e-sabong” sites, to legalize their operations.
According to lawyer Jose Tria Gr., senior vice president of PAGCOR’s Offshore and Online Gaming, besides the income component, the government gaming regulator needs to ensure that the online betting public is not being scammed by online sabong operations, hence the need for new licenses.
“Bukod kasi sa hinahabol na income para sa pamahalaan, kailangan na hindi naman naloloko o nadadaya ang mga tumatangkilik ng sabong sa online kaya kailangan talagang bigyan na sila ng license. Pag may license kasi, namomonitor namin ang kanilang operasyon, galaw, at income,” Tria said.
Sources said five companies have applied for licenses to operate online “sabong,” but only two of them were allowed to start full commercial operations, as the others have yet to pay corresponding fees and taxes to PAGCOR.
Only the Lucky 8 Star Quest Inc. of Pitmaster Live and Belvedere Corp. have been issued authorities to operate online cockfights after fully submitting their paid-up capital and performance bond.
“The rest that don’t have licenses will be apprehended because they are illegal and are being monitored by the Department of Information, Communication and Technology,” Tria added.
He also said the PAGCOR has collected P100 million per month from each licensed online sabong company.