Small Town Lottery in Albay losing heavy in operation

By Manly M. Ugalde

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay — The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office-revived Small Town Lottery (STL) is reportedly not making money as a result of uncontrolled proliferation of bookies in Albay Province.

Albay provincial governor executive assistant Danny Garcia said STL Albay opened operation early last May with Lucky 5 Corp from Tagalog region as the operator.

The predicament facing Albay STL operation was confirmed by PCSO deputy general manager Florante Solmerin in a radio interview here last week.

Anti-illegal gambling advocates claimed that despite of the revived STL, jueteng continues to exist with card-bearing STL bet collectors moonlighting for the illegal numbers game.

Old jueteng bet collectors reportedly use cellphone texting to take down numbers to bet from old jueteng bettors which the STL bet collectors reportedly take charge in collecting.

It will be recalled that an STL franchise was once given by the PCSO in Albay in 2006 under a balikbayan couple from Pampanga. It lasted only for two years allegedly due to rampant jueteng operation and corruption from the police, LGUs, according to Alexandra Bansil, the STL operator in her last talk with journalists.

Albay is a known leading source of jueteng money in Bicol as exposed by then-whistleblower Wilfredo Boy Mayor in a Senate inquiry during President Arroyo’s presidency.

In 2009, the Meridien Vista Gaming with franchise to operate inside the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority was granted by the Albay provincial board an authority, through a resolution, to operate in the province.

The Diocese of Legazpi condemned Meridien entry in Albay, saying it would only serve as a jueteng front.

Gov. Al Francis Bichara’s spokesman Danny Garcia said that Meridien had already stopped operation as of June 25 following the entry of STL in Albay.

According to Solmerin, the proliferation of STL bookies in Albay was a result of a quarrel of the 3 major partners of Lucky 5 which had been traced as the reason of bookies proliferation resulting to a great loss for the STL.

Solmerin warned, during radio interview, that the warring Lucky 5 partners should resolve their conflict early, saying PCSO cannot afford watching STL operation losing money.

Earlier, PCSO general manager Alex Balutan threatened it would trim the Philippine National Police share from STL due to its anemic operation against jueteng operation. In response, PNP chief Director General Ronald De la Rosa threatened to relieve regional and provincial police officials should they fail to stop illegal gambling in their respective assignments in 15 days.

Gov Bichara, who succeeded Gov. Joey Salceda, after the May 2016 election admitted before the media that Meridien Vista did not have any records of tax remittance to the Capitol since 2013. [BicolToday.com]

Posted by on August 16, 2017. Filed under Bicol News,Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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