Philippine e-sabong ban to continue

E-sabong operations were suspended in May.
E-sabong operations were suspended in May.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr has ordered the continued suspension of e-sabong nationwide.

The Philippines.- President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr has issued an executive order for the continued suspension of electronic sabong (e-sabong) operations nationwide. Former president Rodrigo Duterte suspended legal online cockfighting in May after 23 senators signed Resolution No. 996 calling for a suspension.

Marcos signed EO No. 9 on December 28 to ensure the state’s “paramount obligation to protect public health and morals, and to promote public safety and general welfare.”

The order reads: “There is an urgent need to reiterate the continued suspension of all e-sabong operations nationwide, clarify the scope of existing regulations and direct relevant agencies to pursue aggressive crackdown against illegal e-sabong operations, in accordance with law.”

Under the resolution, live-streaming or broadcasting of live cockfights outside cockpits or cockfighting arenas or premises where cockfights are being held will remain suspended. EO 9 also suspends online/remote, or off-cockpit wagering/betting on live cockfighting matches and/or activities streamed or broadcast live, regardless of the location of the betting platform. Traditional cockfights licensed under existing laws are not affected.

EO 9 tasks the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) with coordinating with local government units (LGUs) and other government agencies and private entities on the implementation of the order. The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are directed to give assistance to PAGCOR and take appropriate action against violators.

PAGCOR, in coordination with the DILG and PNP, must submit regular reports to the President through the Office of the Executive Secretary.

In December, families called for action after a lack of progress in investigations of the 34 disappearances connected to the e-sabong industry between April 2021 and January 2022.

See also: PAGCOR warns public against illegal online gambling

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