The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) believes that online cockfighting or e-sabong will proliferate following President Rodrigo Duterte’s ban on the wildly popular betting game.
Abogado Joey Tria, Pagcor vice president for internet game licensing, compared e-sabong’s popularity to jueteng which has remained popular despite massive efforts to terminate its operations.
“May experience na tayo nyan sa Jueteng. Kahit ilang beses na dineclare na illegal, hindi rin siya napigil so at the end of the day, napilitan tayong ilegalize na lang (to STL or small town lottery under Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office),” said Tria in an interview with TV5’s “Sa Totoo Lang.”
Duterte banned e-sabong due to the social ills it has spawned since Pagcor issued licenses in April 2021 and operators, specifically gambling kingpin Atong Ang’s Pitmaster’s Live, started getting bets through GCash and Paymaya. Pagcor said two of the six e-sabong licensees are still operating despite the ban.
Tria said the rise of illegal websites could spur authorities to revive e-sabong operations but with reforms/
“Depende sa mga makita nating effect after the suspension, for example makita natin na lalo lang nakabwelo yung mga illegal websites, lalo lang tayong walang nakolektang buwis sa mga yun,” said Tria.
“Then we could probably prompt the next administration na siguro to look into the possibility of once again regulating the industry but with a lot better regulations,” Yung lahat ng nakita nating social ills na lumabas, dapat before payagang mag-resume, dapat ma-address magawan ng paraan,”he added.