President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that he was wrong for allowing online cockfighting or e-sabong to proliferate despite the mounting social ills created by this P60-billion-a-month gambling app.
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“I’m sorry, I did not really realize that it would be like… Akala ko kasi ‘yung ano…Naimbiyerna kasi ako sa 640 million a month tapos so many billions a year because…maraming nago-operate eh,” said Duterte with barely two weeks left in office.
“But I realized very late and I am very sorry that it had to happen. Hindi ko akalain na ganoon, hindi naman ako nagsusugal. I do not gamble, I do not drink anymore, only water,” Duterte added.
Duterte ordered the termination of all e-sabong operations in the country on May 4 after a survey by the Department of Interior and Local Government showed that 62 percent of Filipinos wanted the online betting on GCash and Paymaya stopped.
No need for PAGCOR order: Atong Ang halts Pitmaster e-sabong ops on Duterte’s say so
The respondents cited addiction to gambling (including minors), bankruptcy of players, indebtedness, cost to family, neglect of work and studies, and crime.
Since Pitmasters Live of gaming kingpin Atong Ang obtained the first e-sabong license on April 8, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has granted a total of nine licenses.
Ano ba talagang bawal? Atong Ang’s Pitmaster seeks clarity on e-sabong ops after Duterte’s halt order
Duterte had ignored the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs’ recommendation to stop e-sabong in a hearing last February.
In that same hearing, Ang boasted about getting the lion’s share of the estimated P60 billion bets made every month on e-sabong of which his Pitmaster earned P3 billion per month while remitting only P640 million a month to Pagcor.
Ang is at the center of a Senate probe which looked into the disappearance of at least 34 sabungeros from the cockpit owned by the self-styled “legal gambling lord.”
US authorities announced a ban Friday on the import or sale of communications equipment deemed “an unacceptable risk to national security” — including gear from Chinese giants Huawei Technologies and ZTE.