Policehave arrested 11 people over illegal e-sabong operations in Bamban town. People were also breaching Covid-19 lockdown rules.
The Philippines.- Officers have arrested 11 people for allegedly being involved in illegal e-sabong betting in Banban Township, Tarlac Province.
According to police, those arrested were watching and betting on e-sabong in Anupul Village at around 11.30pm so were also breaching the curfew imposed by the government due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Inquirer reported that those arrested were not wearing mandatory masks and that there was no social distancing. Police seized P6,000 and a paper with a list of bets.
PAGCOR reminds e-sabong players to gamble responsibly
Online betting on cockfights has rocketed in the Philippines since the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) announced the approval of the first e-sabong operators. The regulator is now warning players to gamble responsibly to avoid gambling-related harms.
E-sabong grew in popularity after cockpits were closed to spectators at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. In May, PAGCOR announced the first two licensed e-sabong operators had started to operate. In June, it approved two more applications.
The regulator also warned the public not to participate in cockfighting betting offered by illegal operators.
It said: “Sabong being closely intertwined with our culture is presently gaining popularity as an online gaming activity among Filipino.
“Gaming responsibly is when a player only bets with money that he or she can afford to lose, making sure that money allocated for daily sustenance and for the family is not used.”
The Philippines’ cockfighting industry is believed to be worth just over US$1bn per year. PAGCOR has collected PHP1bn (US$19.9m) in fees since licenced e-sabong (online cockfighting) operators started to operate in the Philippines.