The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s P640 million revenue collection per month from e-sabong is only a “pittance” if the government would check the billions of money involved in the online gambling activity, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon pointed out Friday.
The lawmaker raised this after gaming tycoon Charlie “Atong” Ang disclosed that his e-sabong firm alone is earning a gross monthly income of P3 billion.
During the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs’ second hearing on the cases of missing “sabungeros,” Drilon asked Ang the range of e-sabong bets every day.
“I just want to place on record the magnitudes of the money we are talking about here which could give rise to incidents such as these,” Drilon said.
Ang said his firm, Lucky 8 Star Quest Inc., is receiving around P1 to P2 billion worth of bets per day.
Lucky 8, which operates on a daily basis, gets around P60 billion worth of bets per month, he added.
Of the P60 billion, Ang said they are getting 5% or around P3 billion worth of commission.
“Five percent of P60 billion is roughly P3 billion per month. [‘Yun] ang commission ninyo (Is that your commission)?” Drilon asked.
Ang answered in the affirmative, saying their income is “P3 billion more or less.”
But the businessman explained that of the P3 billion gross monthly income, P2 billion or P2.5 billion are given to their so-called agents.
They also allocate 1% of the commission for the expenses of the e-sabong firm.
“More or less nasa P900 [million], P800 [million] ang matitira,” he said.
(Minus the expenses, we will get around P900 million or P800 million.)
At this point, Drilon said the collections of the government might be smaller compared to the total amount of money involved in “e-sabong.”
“Kung P3 billion ang kinikita ng Lucky 8, baka po payat ang P640 million na sinasabi ng PAGCOR na kanilang income dito sa e-sabong,” Drilon said.
(If Lucky 8 is earning around P3 billion, then the P640 million income claimed by PAGCOR from e-sabong is just a small amount.)
“Uulitin ko lang (again), P3 billion per month even assuming that you incur expenses on this, P640 million per month of revenue by PAGCOR is pittance, is very small compared to the gross income of Lucky 8,” he added.
Apart from Lucky 8, Belvedere Vista Corp., Visayas Cockers Club Inc., Jade Entertainment And Gaming Technologies, Inc., Newin Cockers Alliance Gaming Corp., Philippine Cockfighting International Inc. and Golden Buzzer, Inc., were also tagged in the Senate probe on the missing “sabungeros.”
At the early part of the Senate’s hearing, PAGCOR chairperson Andrea Domingo said the average monthly revenue from e-sabong from May to December 2021 is around P400 million. She said it grew to P640 million a month since January of this year.
The revenues from e-sabong was one of the reasons cited by Domingo why they express reservation in suspending the operations of the online gambling activity as urged by the Senate.
Proposed Senate Resolution 996, signed by at least 23 senators, was filed last Monday.
The resolution urges PAGCOR to suspend online sabong's license to operate and stop all activities related to it until the cases of missing sabungeros are resolved.
Last week, PAGCOR acting assistant vice president for e-sabong department Diane Erica Jogno said the agency will heed the suspension of the licenses of the e-sabong.
The number of missing sabungeros is now 34, panel chairman Senator Ronald dela Rosa said, citing the police.—AOL, GMA News