House Appropriations Committee Chairman, Davao 1st district Rep. Karlo Nograles on Wednesday (August 2) stressed the need to clean up the rules governing small town lottery (STL) operations in country.
This, after the Mindanao politiko learned that STL is being used as a front by local gambling lords.
“The STL operations was allowed by law to eliminate illegal gambling. Sad to say, it has become a convenient front for the proliferation of illegal gambling like jueteng,” Nograles said during the Budget panel deliberations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PSCO), which deals out franchises to STL operators.
“There is need to review the PCSO charter, its rules and regulations relative to the grant and operation of franchises to pinpoint legal loopholes that are used by concerned parties to cover their illegal gambling activities that deprive government of much needed funds to fuel the government,” he noted.
It can be recalled that STL was created in the first place to get rid of numbers game jueteng, which does not benefit the government in any way since it is unregulated. But it seems that former jueteng operators are merely hiding their activities behind their legal STL franchises.
“We need to dig deeper and sanitize the rules and procedures in the operation of STL. We need to ensure that these so-called gaming lords are no longer doubling as gambling lords,” Nograles said.