BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the operator of the State-run Small Town Lottery (STL) in the city should first secure a business permit from the local government prior to the conduct of their collection and drawing activities in the different parts of the city.
The local chief executive pointed out while the operator was able to secure a license to operate from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) even without the expressed consent of the local government, it is necessary for the licensed operator to also secure the mandatory business permit from the city because their activities in the city are classified as business.
“We learned that the STL operator already started the dry run for its operations but it is important for them to secure the mandatory business permit from the city before their full blast operations since their activities are considered business operations,” Domogan stressed.
He explained that the STL operation is the government’s approach to curbing the proliferation of the age-old jueteng operations, the poor man’s gambling game in the different parts of the country but law enforcers must be vigilant of the possibility that enterprising collection agents might take advantage of the situation to still collect bets not for STL but for jueteng.
While it is true that bet collectors are provided by the Pines State Gaming Corporation with uniforms and identification cards, Domogan underscored there is still a big chance for enterprising collectors to collect bets not for the STL draw but for jueteng that continues to persist in the different barangays.
According to him, he was not provided with the rules and regulations on how the STL operations will be done that is why he is still waiting for the PCSO or the operator to orient local officials on the operations of the enterprise and also answer questions raised by the public.
He admitted jueteng is considered a cat-and-mouse game between law enforcers, the bet collectors and the operator because there are still rampant jueteng bet collections in the city’s barangays even with the government’s pronouncement to curb the proliferation of illegal gambling around the city.
Under the previous administration, applicants for STL operations in a certain area must first secure the consent of the concerned local government through an approved resolution of the local legislative body but in the revised guidelines for the enhanced STL operations, the consent of local governments is no longer required provided that interested operators must comply with the provision of the multi-million bond, among others.
Domogan said that the local government will insist that the STL operator in the city must first secure the required business permit from the local government before their bet collectors will be allowed to collect bets and hold their regular draws in their stationary draw center based along Gen. Lim St. /By Dexter A. See