GUIGUINTO, Bulacan—Small Town Lottery (STL) operations are extended a week after the planned deadline set by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
This is due to unavailability of the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) for the entry of the Pambansang Loterya ng Bayan (PLB) which is said to be still being reviewed by Malacanang.
The extension, however, is likely good for only a month or more as the IRR is set to be released soon.
But that has given gaming corporations in different provinces in the country to apply for PLB once it finally replaces STL.
Tito Inoncillo, general manager of the Diamond Gaming and Research Center (DGRC) said yesterday that PCSO initially gave them only until June 30 as deadline for their operations.
DGRC is the operator of STL in 20 towns and three component cities of Bulacan.
“Our operation is given indefinite extension, but we know that is only good until the IRR for PLB is completed,” he said.
He explained that the extension is part of the government attempt to fill the vacuum and keep revenues generated by STL operations coming.
“If they cancelled our operations last week, a lot of money will be lost,” he said referring to at least P4 billion generated by STL operations across the country last year.
As operator of STL in the province for at least seven years now, Inoncillo said that DGRC has encountered problems like parallel operations of some bookies.
But he said it was addressed by the police, while bettors became loyal to STL rather than to bookies.
Inoncillo said that some of the factors in bettors’ loyalty to STL include transparency and accountability of their operations.
“We are very concerned with the operations of bookies in Bulacan because they takes away the livelihood of at least 19,000 of our manpower,” he said referring to coordinators and collectors that roam villages.
During the interview, Inoncillo admitted that DGRC has applied for PLB operations in the province.
“PCSO allowed existing gaming corporations to apply to operate PLB franchise, but they still have to review every application,” he said.
Last May, PCSO General Manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II announced that STL gaming firms were given only until June 30 to operate.
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