Numbers game-A A +A
Friday, October 25, 2013
THE other week, I was in the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to submit the required papers for the extension of a brother-in-law’s visa which he cannot submit personally.
The BI staff in-charge was very thorough with her work, feeling the notarized documents carefully which made quite uneasy why she was doing it. Finally, she was very courteous in telling me that the notary public had failed to stamp the papers with his seal, and did not accept them.
She returned them to me.
And here, my tale of the numbers game begins, for when I went to the office of lawyer Ismael Borgonia, Jr. and told him that the documents he notarized last week was not accepted by the BI because these did not have his seal, he was most apologetic about the matter, and said that must be because we were talking about “business” of his other visitor when I dropped by him a week earlier.
They were talking about the numbers game of “masiao” which is most popular.
This time around, though, while stamping on his seal on the papers of my Swedish brother-in-law, Arne Hansson, Jun was saying “You know, I kept wondering why the government declared “masiao” an illegal numbers game when it should a good source of legitimate taxes.”
How much could the government have earned from masiao had it been legitimized? The coordinators and runners are not sharing any of their incomes direct to the government, and so they are arrested. But secretly, so they won’t be hounded by the police, they pay some kind of tong to some people to protect them somehow.
What happens if the local authorities collect some form of tax to allow them operate the numbers game legitimately and collect some kind of fee for the permit? There would be another source of income for the government.
I believe the real reason why the local government is running after masiao is because the people involved in it is not paying any tax.
That, to me, is a very sound observation. Why is it that the lotto, which operates a similar game of numbers such as the “suertres” and the six digits numbers game are allowed to operate? Well, think how many millions of cash shares every day go to the government coffers from the lotto, a numbers game that is almost the same as the “masiao” in design and operation, but for the fact that the former is considered an illegal gambling, while the latter is not.
I left lawyer Jun Borgonia with a number that his other visitor gave him with the assurance that it could possibly come out the following day as a winning “masiao” number, and at the same time he also got a tip that were for lotto suertres numbers.
What can you do before the figures that are believed to be potential winning numbers in the play that is as good as a game of real life?
Let it not be said that I assumed a kind of “holier than thou” attitude in the face of such an opportunity to try my luck about winning in a game of opportunities.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 25, 2013.