The Philippine government says the ban on all lottery gambling business done under the auspices of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) will remain until an investigation into allegations of corruption in the government agency is finished, reports local media.
But Pacific Online Systems Corp – a private firm leasing to PCSO some equipment to run certain lottery services – said in a Tuesday filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange that the ban would cause “negative impact” on charity fundraising, the livelihoods of workers in the sector and the businesses concerned, that was currently “inestimable”.
The company added it could “only hope that the suspension will be lifted sooner rather than later”.
It further stated it was “fully confident that, as a listed company, its transactions with PCSO on both lotto and keno were entered into in accordance with law, and are above-board and fair”.
The country’s President Rodrigo Duterte ordered on Friday the closure of all PCSO-licensed gaming operations, including those leased to private enterprises, because of what he called “massive corruption” in the agency.
A report in the online edition of the Philippine Star on Tuesday quoted the presidential spokesman, Salvador Panelo, as telling radio station dzMM: “The president said he is thoroughly investigating, to identify the people involved as soon as possible. So until such time and until the investigation is not yet finished [sic], everything will remain closed.”
Asked how long the investigation would take, Mr Panelo replied: “The president acts fast. You’ve seen how he promptly ordered the closure.”
Justice Secretary Menardo Gueverra has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the allegations of corruption, the newspaper said, citing an official document.
Pacific Online Systems rents out an online lottery system used by PCSO in the central and southern Philippines, and a Pacific Online Systems subsidiary, Total Gaming Technologies Inc, rents out equipment used for the keno game played countrywide.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters