Philippines: calls for e-sabong to be suspended after 31 disappear

The first licensed e-sabong operators started to operate in 2021.
The first licensed e-sabong operators started to operate in 2021.

23 Senators are calling for PAGCOR to suspend e-sabong operations amid the disappearance of 31 people linked to the industry.

The Philippines.- The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) is considering suspending online cockfighting amid claims that 31 people related to the industry disappeared between April 2021 and January 2022.

Some 23 senators have signed Resolution No. 996 urging the regulator to immediately stop all related activities until the cases are resolved.

According to The Philippine News Agency, Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs chair Senator Ronald dela Rosa told PAGCOR chairman Andrea Domingo: “You have the responsibility. You regulate e-sabong and we have a problem with e-sabong so we are expecting that you do your job.”

Domingo answered: “Although we do respect the resolution from the senators for us to suspend immediately e-sabong operations, we have to look into the repercussions. In the final analysis, it would be PAGCOR that would be responsible for the final decision.”

The resolution mentiones operators Belvedere Vista Corporation, Lucky 8 Star Quest Inc., Visayas Cockers Club, Inc., Jade Entertainment and Gaming Technologies, Inc., Newin Cockers Alliance Gaming Corporation, Philippine Cockfighting International Inc., and Golden Buzzer, Inc.

A bill to tax online betting on sabong events held in legal cockpits was approved in November 2020. In May 2021, PAGCOR issued the first licences

Online betting on cockfights rocketed in the Philippines since cockpits were closed to spectators at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Philippines’ cockfighting industry is believed to be worth over US$1bn per year.

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