The illegal numbers game continues to burn a big hole in the Philippine lottery agency’s pockets.
BusinessMirror reported that the small town lottery (STL) operated by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) lost an estimated 30 percent of its earnings to stiff competition from the illegal numbers game that the locals called “jueteng.”
At present, PCSO spokesman Florante Solmerin estimated that the agency reaps P1.1 billion ($21.36 million) from its STL operations every month. It could have been bigger, according to Solmerin, if not for the perennial problem on jueteng.
To reclaim this 30 percent loss, the PCSO said that the government had been relentless against in its crackdown on jueteng.
PCSO saw small victories against all illegal gambling in the past few months, according to PCSO Chairman Jose Jorge Cruz. Just last month, the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) swooped down and padlocked six illegal betting stations in the country’s Visayas region.
The arrest stemmed from the complaint of First Golden Fortune Leisure Inc. and Saturn Gaming N’ Amusement Corporation, two Authorized Agent Corporations (AACs) of PCSO, that illegal gambling was operating right beside the legitimate STL operations.
The NBI charged the collectors and maintainers with violation of Presidential Decree 1602 in relation to Republic Act 9287.
“After a year in the PCSO, we now know that illegal gambling can be stopped, but the Philippine National Police should be do their job, especially since they have a share in the revenues of the PCSO,” PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said, according to InterAksyon.com.
Aside from going after illegal gambling operators, the PCSO has expanded the STL operations to more areas. From 18 agent corporations, there are now 75 STL operators nationwide. The PCSO has also given at least 92 agent corporations a thumbs up.