SEVERAL small town lottery (STL) bettors agreed with the resumption of its operations, but with reservation.
Almost a month after he ordered the halt of operations of all Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) games over alleged massive corruption at the agency, President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the suspension order against STL in the country.
PCSO general manager Royina Garma made the announcement in a video uploaded on the state-run gaming site’s official Facebook account around 7 p.m Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019.
Lisa Bajarias, 63, wife of an STL bettor, said at least people working as STL ticket sellers could go back to work.
“Although I am not an STL bettor myself, I am happy with this development since I believe those who have lost their jobs during the suspension will be given hope as they will have their previous source of income. I am talking about those who are working under legally authorized agents,” she said in Cebuano.
The same sentiment was shared by Lester Godinez, 33, who also bets on the numbers game.
“The resumption of their operations is good since it’s for the funding of their charity activities as well,” he said.
However, Edward Rapas, 49, STL bettor, said the government should ensure that the mistakes of the past would not be repeated by strictly implementing its guidelines.
“I admit that I have also patronized unauthorized STL outlets, but should they opt to allow authorized STL agents to re-operate, the government should also be serious in monitoring illegal gambling outlets from which they are not earning,” he said in Cebuano.
According to him, unauthorized STL outlets are still rampant in Cebu City.
“If you are maintaining a lot of STL bet numbers, where will you go? Of course to those that are illegal since it’s much cheaper,” he added.
Garma said the resumption of STL operations has conditions.
First, the STL operator must deposit with the PCSO a cash bond equivalent to three months of the PCSO’s share in the guaranteed monthly retail receipts. This is on top of its existing cash bond.
She said the authorized agent corporation’s (AAC) cash bond equivalent to three months of the PCSO’s share in the guaranteed monthly receipts will be “automatically forfeited” in favor of PCSO if it cannot remit its sales in full and on time.
After complying with its obligations under the STL agency agreement, the AAC cannot institute any claims, monetary or otherwise, against the government. It will not seek a temporary restraining order or injunction from any court.
The STL agency agreement will be automatically terminated when any of the conditions is violated, Garma added.
Gloria Ybañez, PCSO Visayas manager, said the revised PCSO implementing rules and regulations will be publicized on Monday, Aug. 26. (WBS)