MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has given small town lottery (STL) gaming firms until June 30 to operate, to allow the entry of the Pambansang Loterya ng Bayan (PLB).
PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II said the implementing rules and regulations for the PLB are now under review by Malacañang, and are expected to be approved soon.
In case of any delay, STL operators may be given an extension on a monthly basis, Rojas said. This is to prevent any vacuum from income generated by the STL that amounted to more than P4 billion last year.
He said the PLB and other legal numbers games, once in full swing, are expected to draw the people away from jueteng and other illegal betting games.
Rojas said the PCSO would also introduce new games that will counter masiao, popularly known as the “last two” illegal numbers game.
“The PCSO will introduce legal alternative to illegal numbers game that will bring in government revenues, create employment in the provinces and generate charity funds for health-related assistance to the poor and needy,” he said.
According to PCSO records, there are PLB applications for the provinces of Pangasinan, Bulacan, Zambales, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Pampanga, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Quirino and Cagayan.
At least seven applications were filed for Pangasinan.
For Southern Tagalog, there were applicants from Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, and Sorsogon.
Gaming corporations from the National Capital Region also applied for PBL in Makati, Marikina, Pasay, Quezon City and Taguig.
For the Visayas and Mindanao, Negros Occidental tops the list with applicants from the six congressional districts, including the cities of San Carlos, Silayan and Sipalay City.
Applications were also filed for Calape in Bohol, Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City, Southern Leyte, Iloilo and Zamboanga City in Mindanao.
PCSO is launching the new numbers game to replace the STL which has become a front of jueteng operations.
The new game is expected to generate at least P10 billion revenue annually.
Under the PLB guidelines, local governments, congressional districts and provincial governments, including the Philippine National Police (PNP), are entitled to a certain percentage of the proceeds of the legal numbers games.
Meanwhile, a 20-year-old man who recently got married in Manila claimed his share of the 6/45 lotto jackpot of the May 20 draw he won with another bettor from San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.