As much as we enjoy the thrills of gambling, there are still some lines that we wouldn’t dare cross.Dog fighting is one of them.We bring this up because recently, eight South Koreans were arrested in the Philippines for running an illegal online dog-fighting operation in Calauan, Laguna. In addition to the arrest, authorities also rescued 300 pit bulls that were being held captive in a dog farm in San Pablo City, Laguna.The eight Koreans that were arrested have been identified to be Lee Gwi Woo, 21; Kim Young Hwan, 29; Jeong Yeon Hwal, 31; Lee Kyung Won, 31; Kim Do Kyung, 41; Hong Jeong Oh, 43; Noh Min Chul, 44; and Hyun Ho Han, 45.
What makes these incredulous story even more sickening is that according to Chief Inspector Renante Galang of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, this isn’t the first time these Koreans have been caught for running this kind of oppressive operation. In fact, five of those arrested – Noh Min Chul, Lee Gwi Woo, Lee Kyung Won, Kim Young Hwan and Jeong Yeon Hwal – have already been caught once organizing and hosting a similar dog fighting ring a few months ago but they were released on bail.
The problem is that in the Philippines, cruelty to animals is a bailable offense, which means that offenders can walk out of their arrests if they have deep pockets. The stiffest penalty these people can face, at least according to the Philippine Animal Welfare Act, is two years imprisonment. And even then, they could just as well be slapped on the wrist with just a P5,000 fine.
You think Michael Vick could have gotten away from his dog-fighting crimes for just a little over $100?
The whole set-up of the operation also brings to light the utter shadiness of it all. Similar to how most underground dog-fighting operations go, a pair of pit bulls are made to fight one another to incapacitation from anywhere between three to five minutes. The fights are then captured through the use of high-end cameras and streamed live on the Internet, where bettors could place their wagers either through their credit cards or even Paypal. According to Galang, bets made on these fights could hit seven figures in Korean won, making it a lucrative operation for those involved.Fortunately, Galang and his team received a tip that the group was up to their old tricks – albeit in another location – and they managed to move in and perform the raid just before a fight was set to commence.“We received information that while they were out on bail they moved and set up another gaming facility in Laguna,” the inspector said in a telephone interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer.The arrested individuals are now in custody at the at the CIDG national headquarters in Camp Caringal in Quezon City where they will eventually be charged with illegal gambling and violation of the Animal Welfare Act. But when you compare them to the dogs, these idiots might get even get the longer end of the stick because most of the pit bulls rescued from the farm were in far worse condition than anybody anticipated. Anna Cabrera, the executive director of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), said that the pit bulls were in such terrible shape that some of them had no chance of being saved and thus, we’re “put to sleep”.
Like we said at the top, there are a lot of forms of gambling that we endorse. But anything that deals with animal torture is not one of them. There are many other avenues of enjoying gambling without having to resort to putting two dogs against each other and watching the blood-thirsty spectacle unfold before your eyes.
In addition to this whole thing being morally egregious, the whole spectacle of online dog fighting will permeate through and cast a negative light on online gambling as a whole. For one, there’s a pretty good chance that the people behind this dog-fighting ring have been operating this whole thing without a license, which is another indelible stain that anti-online forces can use in their fight against the industry. On top of that, using animal cruelty in an online gambling set-up is another black eye that taints the entire industry as a whole.
But the bottom line is that there’s no place anywhere in this world for dog-fighting. Gambling should be a fun and enjoyable way to spend your money. But doing so at the expense of two dogs viciously – and forcibly – trying to mutilate each other?
That’s not only stupid; it’s downright cruel.