18 ‘bookies’ collectors in NegOcc face illegal gambling raps

NEGROS. In its continuous campaign against illegal Small Town Lottery operations in Negros Occidental, more bet collectors were arrested and charged in court. (Contributed Photo)
NEGROS. In its continuous campaign against illegal Small Town Lottery operations in Negros Occidental, more bet collectors were arrested and charged in court. (Contributed Photo)

The police have initially filed charges against 18 “bookies” collectors for violation of Republic Act 9287, or illegal gambling, in Negros Occidental, as the heightened campaign against all forms of illegal gambling was ordered by Brig. Gen. Jack Wanky, Police Regional Office-6 director.

Bookies is an illegal numbers game that uses winning numbers from the small-town lottery (STL) draws of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

The 18 respondents were nabbed in separate operations of the police in municipalities of Candoni, San Enrique, E. B. Magalona, and Cauayan, as well as the cities of Escalante City, Bago, La Carlota, Sipalay, and Victorias, all in Negros Occidental, in the past several months.

Police also recovered P8,586 in cash bets, PCSO tally sheets, and Super Lucky Beagler Inc. identification cards, among other items.

RA 9287, which increases penalties for illegal numbers games in the country, aims to eradicate these activities and punish those involved, including bettors, personnel, and government officials, while also protecting witnesses and incentives for law enforcement officers.

Bettors may be imprisoned for 30 to 90 days, while personnel or staff of illegal numbers game operations face imprisonment for 6 years and to 8 years, and collectors or agents may be imprisoned for 8 years and day to 10 years.

Wanky has vowed to maintain relentless efforts against illegal gambling activities.

He also urged all police commanders in Western Visayas to intensify their enforcement campaigns.

“Those who operate illegally should be continually subject to law enforcement operations,” he stressed.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the PCSO have partnered to intensify the campaign against illegal gambling activities nationwide by enforcing the “one strike and no-take policy.”

In Negros Occidental, the widespread operations of “bookies”  has been the subject of complaints by the PCSO.

The bookies or collectors are reported to be part of a syndicate that operates the illegal numbers game in Negros Occidental, using STL draws of the PCSO.*

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