Lotto outlet closure in Tacloban shocks winner, catches bettors off-guard
TACLOBAN CITY –– He went to a lotto outlet in Tacloban City, Leyte on Saturday to collect his prize for winning a draw in the small town lottery (STL) game.
But Archie Dacut, 40, was shocked when he discovered that the outlet was already closed since he planned to use the money to pay their electric bill for this month.
“I was about to claim my prize of which P1,000 of that prize I was supposed to pay for the loan that I have incurred earlier,” Dacut, who bet on P10, said.
The closure complied with the order of President Duterte to close down all gaming operations ran by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on the grounds of corruption.
The closure of the lotto outlets caught several bettors off- guard.
”Really? I have made my analysis of the numbers that I will bet on today. Why such as an order? I thought all the while that it was legal and sanctioned by our government,” a female employee of the Commission on Audit said.
The police launched a series of operations to ensure the closure of the lotto outlets, said Brigadier Dionardo Carlos, police director for Eastern Visayas.
Carlos said that hours after they learned about the President’s order, they immediately started the operations to shut down the lotto outlets and betting stations.
“This is not just a temporary closure but a stoppage of the operations and closure of the office,” he added.
Gwenda Requiez, record officer of the lotto office, which operates in the entire province of Leyte, found the President’s move unfair and harsh.
“Did he consider how many people would lose their jobs because of his order? But still, we have no choice but to follow the order of the President,” said Requiez, who works at the biggest lotto office in Leyte. /lb
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