E-sabong firm gets 25-year franchise
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill that would grant Lucky 8 Star Quest Inc. a franchise to operate offsite betting stations for online cockfighting or “e-sabong” anywhere in the Philippines.
Voting 161-2-0, the lawmakers approved House Bill No. 10199, which aims to enable the government to maximize the revenue potential of offsite betting activities.
The bill grants a 25-year franchise to Lucky 8 Star Quest to broadcast live cockfighting activities and derbies through online and other similar means.
The proposed measure also allows the e-sabong firm to construct, establish, operate and maintain on-cockpit and off-cockpit betting stations.
But former Speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, who opposed the bill, asked the House leadership to reopen the period of debate and sponsorship in a Sept. 20 letter to House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez,
The House, however, proceeded to approve the bill. The measure was approved on second reading on Sept. 13.
Cayetano has opposed the bill, saying that e-sabong and other forms of gambling “destroys the moral fiber of our society.”
With “sabong” now accessible via the internet or through mobile phones, he said it could now reach a greater majority of Filipino households, including minors.
“This unnecessarily exposes the youth to the perils of gambling by making it very convenient, accessible and enticing to them. This allows for the addiction to grow worse,” he said.
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