December 7, 2022

BSP should order removal of online cockfighting feature in e-wallet apps


THE PHILIPPINES’ central bank is expected to order removal of online cockfighting features in e-wallet (e-wallet) apps following President Rodrigo R. Dutertes order to halt gambling operations, a senator said Wednesday.

(Since) the president overturned the opinion of the Department of Justice and the Solicitor General’s office that served as the basis for the PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) in issuing licensesthe Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) should also cut this cord,Senator Francis N. Tolentino said in a statement in a mixture of English and Filipino.

He cited that the central banks basis for licensing e-wallets GCash and PayMaya with respect to electronic cockfighting, commonly referred to as e-sabongrelied on the Secretary of Justicethe opinion.

Removing virtual cockfighting features from these e-wallet services will prevent possible illegal betting on unauthorized cockfighting, Tolentino said.

The reason why e-sabong earned hundreds of millions in the first place from issued licenses to place bets in e-wallet applications, he added.

PAGCOR estimated online cockfighting revenue averaged 400 million pesos per month last year and 640 million pesos per month since January 2022.

Congress has been urged to pass legislation regulating online cockfighting. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan