Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation have arrested some 250 persons, including the operator, employees, and bettors of an online sabong operating illegally in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija on Monday afternoon.
According to Emeterio Dongallo Jr., head of the NBI-Special Project Team, the raid was conducted at the Mavin’s Events Center following complaints they received from legitimate operators of e-sabong.
“The modus of the illegal e-sabong operator is just the same as that of the legal one. They have a cockfight that is being live streamed, with bettors placing their bets online. The problem with them is that they do not pay any franchise fee,” Dongallo said.
Confiscated during the operation were thousands of pesos in bet money and equipment used for the live streaming of the illegal cockfighting.
“Their violation is illegal gambling under PD 1602 in relation to cybercrime prevention act because it is online,” the NBI official said.
He said the government is losing revenues due to the operation of such illegal online cockfighting.
“The government is losing a huge amount of money. How much is the franchise fee of the legitimate operators of e-sabong operators? Plus the monthly tax that could have been used as ‘ayuda’ as part of the anti-COVID approach of the government,” Dongallo said.
The NBI is now in the process of unmasking the people behind the illegal operation.
“I’m sure those who were arrested are not the bosses. They are the operators and administrators. We will dig deeper. I think someone big is behind this. They are operating a big-time cockfighting operation,” Dongallo said.