E-bingo public hearing set

ANTI-GAMBLING advocates in Baguio City are set to air their sentiments in a public hearing set on Wednesday, July 26, in a bid to rescind the decisions of City Council to allow gaming establishments into the city.

Councilor Elaine Sembrano said over 300 persons have been invited for the morning session to gather their reaction over the gambling issue.

Anti-gambling groups was recently alarmed after the City Council on May 22 gave gaming operators approval without objection the request of Bingo Palace Corporation to maintain and operate a new outlet in Albergo Hotel where electronic and traditional games will ensue as well as the request of Highland Gaming Corporation to operate traditional bingo games at the upper basement of SM City Baguio and at the Baguio Center Mall.

Sembrano said despite the firm decision of the majority of the city councilors, the public hearing will push through in an attempt to put into perspective the growing opposition against all forms of gambling.

Sembrano said talks with council members denote the finality in their previous vote to allow the games to proceed in the city but she is hoping the body will hear the side of advocates after the public hearing.

A multi-sectoral group composed of concerned citizens, religious groups and advocates have banded together against gambling.

Sembrano said a letter to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) will also be made if the local council refuses to budge on the issue.

In an earlier appearance, Pagcor Senior Manager for Gaming and Licenses Division, Marivic Baas said formal opposition from the local council is enough to shut down gaming sites.

Baas then said only a resolution from the local council can end gaming operations in the city.
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