12 e-sabong sites continue to operate despite Duterte’s ban

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of e-sabong operations earlier this month.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of e-sabong operations earlier this month.

The Philippine National Police have detected that 12 e-sabong websites are still operating despite the ban announced by the president.

The Philippines.- Despite President Rodrigo Duterte giving in and announcing a ban on e-sabong operations, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has detected that 12 websites are still operating.

Lt Michelle Sabino told local media that two of the sites are registered in the Philippines, while the remaining 10 appear to be foreign sites. According to Sabino, the links to these websites were promoted through Facebook pages, which have been identified by the police as having links to e-sabong operators.

It is still unknown who the administrators are since they have used various mechanisms to hide their data. However, the authorities were able to detect that customers use cryptocurrencies for their bets.

Sabino also said that she has filed a report with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) to remove the sites. Police also filed a request to have the Facebook pages removed through Meta, the parent company of Facebook.

Duterte finally announced a ban on e-sabong due to mounting pressure from senators after 31 people linked to the industry disappeared. The gaming regulator PAGCOR has been left seeking new forms of revenue as a result.

The regulator’s chairman Andrea Domingo had previously said PAGCOR could raise about Php7.2bn to Php8bn if e-sabong continued to operate until the end of 2022.

PAGCOR achieved a monthly turnover of PHP650m through e-Sabong. From April 2021 to December 2021, the government earned about PHP3.69bn and from January to March 15, 2022, approximately PHP1.37bn was collected from the operations of seven licensees.

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