City Legal Office: Jai Alai is legal-A A +A
Thursday, September 16, 2010
BACOLOD City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan said jai alai is legal, provided that it is solely operated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) according to its charter.
The legality of jai alai operation is further supported by Presidential Decree 9297, which designated Pagcor as the sole authority to operate jai alai.
Pagcor's delegation of jai alai operation will destroy its exclusive mandate to operate the said numbers game, the city legal officer said, citing the decided case of "Del Mar vs Pagcor, et al., GR No. 138298, August 24, 2001."
According to jurisprudence, jai alai can be operated by a special economic zone, such as the Ceza, which was created by virtue of RA 7922, otherwise known as the Cagayan Economic Zone Act of 1995 enacted on February 24, 1995.
Under the Ceza charter, it can, among other functions, operate games, including amusement, recreational and sports facilities, such as horse racing, dog racing, and gambling casinos.
In the case of the Zamboecozone which attempted to operate jai alai, the Supreme Court supported Pagcor's stand that Zamboeconzone's charter does not allow it to operate jai alai, as the phrase "amusement, games or gambling casinos" does not carry the interpretation of jai alai.
The legality of jai alai is therefore vested in the charter of Pagcor and to none others. Otherwise, jai alai will be considered as an "illegal numbers game."
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 16, 2010.