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Illegal gambling takes over in Iloilo after PCSO stops STL

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The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) wants the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) to explain the re-emergence of “bookies” bet collectors in the province following the stoppage of the Small Town Lottery (STL) operation here.

In a media interview Monday, SP member Emmanuel Gallar, chairman of the Committee on Games and Amusement, said that the legislative body will invite IPPO Director Senior Supt. Marlon Tayaba to attend their session on June 26 to explain the status of illegal gambling in the province and what they are doing to enforce the law.

“We will ask him the truth (on illegal gambling) and his assurance to the public on how to minimize, if not eliminate, the illegal gambling in the province,” he said,

“The government could not get any benefit from the illegal gambling,” he added.

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) terminated its agreement with Iloilo’s STL operator Eagle Crest Gaming and Holding Corp. (EC) last month because the latter failed to comply with the post-approval requirements.

Subsequently, PCSO opened applications for prospective bidders of STL in Iloilo province along with Cavite.

Gallar said that so far, he does not have any information if there are already interested bidders.

With this, he said that they are planning to request again the presence of PCSO-Iloilo Manager Jeanette Lloyd in one of their incoming sessions to get updates on the status of STL application for the province.

Tayaba said he welcomed the plan of SP invite him in their session next week.

He said that since the STL operation was stopped in the province last May 10, there were already 63 “bookies” bet collectors arrested in the province.

“It is not normal. They (“bookies” bet collectors) took advantage of the stoppage of Eagle Crest,” he said in a media interview.

But Tayaba said they were relentless in fighting illegal gambling.

He said that they are targeting “bookies bet collectors operating in villages who are hiding in these areas instead of operating at the town center.”(PNA)