BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan is awaiting the advisory from the State-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CESA) on the status of the operation of electronic games and jai-alai which are being used by some local corporations to justify their continuous operations in different parts of the city.
The local chief executive said that he received initial reports that PhilWeb, the on-line provider of the electronic games, including the electronic bingo operated in the city, has been dissolved after the expose of President Rodrigo Duterte that the chief executive officer Roberto Ongpin is one of the country’s oligarchs, while the license of Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation, which derives its existence from the CESA, is already considered to be illegal after the economic zone authority reportedly dissolved its jai-alai license.
“PAGCOR and CESA must issue the necessary advisories to all local governments on the status of PhilWeb and Meridian so that concerned local officials will be properly guided on actions to take against the corporations that are operating in their respective areas of jurisdiction,” Domogan stressed.
According to him, the regulating agencies should take the appropriate measures in informing the concerned local governments the latest status of the operations of the electronic games and jai-alai that are existing in some of the cities, provinces, and municipalities in the country.
It can be recalled that a Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Dagupan City, Pangasinan issued a writ of preliminary injunction that barred Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation from continuing its jai-alai operations in the province following the revocation of its CESA license, and the cancellation of the permit granted to PhilWeb as on-line provider of electronic games.
Three electronic bingo outlets, particularly the Highland Gaming Corporation at the Baguio Center Mall, one at the SM City Baguio, and another outlet along Marcos highway, are allegedly operating illegally following the failure of the local government to issue the necessary business permits for the said outlets to legitimize their operations.
Domogan asserted his stand against the operation of illegal gambling in the city, saying that people should not patronize whatever form of gambling eventually making it unprofitable which can lead to the closure of the gambling joints.
He issued marching orders to the police to go after the operation of illegal gambling joints in the city in order to put an end to the gambling problem that continues to affect the morals and values of the residents, especially the youth.
By Dexter A. See