THE PHILIPPINE central bank should order the removal of online cockfighting features in electronic wallet (e-wallet) applications following President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s order to stop the gaming operations, said a senator on Wednesday.
“(Since) the President has reversed the opinion of the Department of Justice and the Solicitor General’s Office which served as bases for PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) in issuing licenses… the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) should likewise cut that cord,” Senator Francis N. Tolentino said in a statement in a mix of English and Filipino.
He cited that the central bank’s basis for granting permits to e-wallets GCash and PayMaya in relation to electronic cockfighting, popularly known as e-sabong, were based on the Justice secretary’s opinion.
Removing the virtual cockfighting features from those e-wallet services will avert possible illegal betting from unsanctioned cockfights, said Mr. Tolentino.
The reason that e-sabong earned hundreds of millions in the first place is because of licenses issued allowing bets to be placed in e-wallet applications, he added.
PAGCOR estimated revenues from online cockfighting averaged P400 million monthly last year and P640 million a month since Jan. 2022.
Congress has been urged to pass a law regulating online cockfighting. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan