SAN PABLO, Isabela: Despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic and the lack of permit to operate, the Small Town Lottery (STL) has resumed in key towns and cities of Isabela province, according to the governor.
Rodolfo Albano 3rd on Tuesday said he had received “numerous reports” from tipsters about the resumption of the STL here in violation of both the law and the health and safety protocols aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19.
“This is a blatant violation of the pandemic [protocols] and extremely illegal as the local government did not issue any permit yet. It has not entered into a memorandum of agreement with the PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office) or Sahara [Games and Amusement Phil. Corp. in Isabela], which will allow them to operate,” he added.
Albano said they were able to secure a temporary restraining order to halt the STL’s operation..
He ordered the Isabela police to arrest operators, head cabos, cobradores and bettors in the “illegal operation.”
“The bet taker and the bettor can be arrested, so do not patronize this illegal activity,” the governor said.
He has instructed his aides to coordinate with the Office of the President to determine if the PCSO has officially granted approval for STL operations
Albano said local government permits are needed for any legal gaming operation.
The PCSO has been sanctioning gaming firms and regulating licensing of gambling and online gaming facilities and imposing Authorized Agent Corporation’s (AAC) scope of operations, including the list of their employees.
It earlier allowed AACs to operate in Region 2 including Charity Games of Chance Corp. in Cagayan, Sahara Games and Amusement Phil Corp. in Isabela, King 810 Gaming Corp. in Nueva Vizcaya and Fair Ways Management and Gaming Corp. in Santiago City, also in Isabela.