BAGUIO CITY December 24 – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan wants Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman Cristino Naguiyat, Jr. To formalize his earlier pronouncement that the State-run gaming corporation has not issued any permit to e-bingo or e-casino operators in the city in respect to the absence of a formal endorsement from the city government.
Domogan made the call in the light of snowballing clamor from multi-sectoral groups in the city for the outright stoppage of e-bingo operations being conducted in three malls located in the different parts of the city.
“We are consistent with our anti-gambling policy that is why we want Chairman Naguiyat to formalize his earlier pronouncement that PAGCOR did not issue any permit to any gaming corporation to operate e-bingo or e-casino in the city so that we will issue the necessary closure orders to the e-bingo operations in the identified areas,” Domogan stressed.
He ordered the city permits and licensing division and the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) to check the permits of the identified e-bingo operators and validate the same with PAGCOR so that if found to have not gone through the regular process, their operations will be closed.
Under the revised PAGCOR Charter, casino operators must secure a certificate of no objection from the host local government unit prior to the establishment of games that are regulated under the jurisdiction of the State-run gaming and amusement corporation.
He disclosed the city government never issued a certificate of no objection to any gaming corporation that applied for gaming franchise with the PAGCOR that is why there is a need to validate from PAGCOR authorities the basis for the existing e-bingo operations in the different parts of the city.
Earlier Bishop Carlito J. Cenzon brought to the attention of city officials the massive operation of e-bingo outlets in three malls located in the different parts of the city, citing the need to stop such immoral activities to help sustain the gains of peace and order in the city.
Based on reports, more than 80 e-bingo machines are located in the biggest mall in the city, more than 50 other e-bingo machines are situated in a mall along Magsaysay Avenue while more than 150 e-bingo machines are housed in a building along Marcos highway.
Domogan appealed to local residents not to patronize legal or illegal gambling activities being operated in the different parts of the city so that they will not have consistent patrons, then such gambling operations will stop automatically.
“If our people continue to patronize gambling operations, then such activities, illegal or illegal will continue to proliferate. But if we do not patronize such games, then it will automatically stop because they will have no patrons,” Domogan said.
He welcomed the consistent participation of local residents in reporting to him the areas where gambling activities are done since he is able to pound on the police to further intensify their anti-gambling operations and apprehend those involved in the operation f such illegal gambling events in the city.
By Dexter A. See