Over 30,000 gaming outlets shut down in Philippines

PCSO lotto outlets in Ilagan City have ceased operating as they heeded President Duterte’s order. Photo by VILLAMOR VISAYA JR. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MANILA, Jul 29, 2019, Inquirer. The Philippine National Police (PNP) has shut down a total of 30,284 gaming outlets operated by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) since Saturday, reported the Inquirer.

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said the outlets have been closed down “upon due notice from the PNP,” after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered all gaming activities of the PCSO to be stopped amid alleged “massive corruption” in the agency.

Data from the PNP showed a total of 20,241 small town lottery (STL) outlets, 6,313 Lotto outlets, 2,762 Peryahan ng Bayan, 778 KENO, and 190 small town lottery drawing centers have been closed down as of Monday.

“PNP units have been given instructions on intensified crackdown on all types of gaming activities operated by PCSO franchises, more so by underground numbers game operators,” he said in a press briefing at Camp Crame.

Albayalde also took exception at the statement of Senator Nancy Binay that the PNP focusing on closing down PCSO-operated gaming outlets instead of hunting down criminals shows its “misplaced sense of priority.” The senator also called on the PNP to “veer away from the theatrics.”

“Let me emphasize that all other law enforcement and public safety operations of the PNP will not be sidelined by this ongoing crackdown on PCSO operated gaming schemes, but we did actually intensified further particularly against wanted persons in street crimes and illegal drugs,” Albayalde said.

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