BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored the latest action of the local legislative body in interposing no objection to the operation of several electronic and traditional bingo establishments in the different parts of the city represents the official stand of the local government.
The local chief executive said allowing the operation of legal gambling activities in the city is one of the strategies to curb the proliferation of illegal gambling activities aside from the fact that the local government will be receiving its share from the operations of legitimate gambling activities which could be used to fund its social welfare programs for the local residents.
“The action of the local legislative body in approving the operation of traditional and electronic bingo establishments in the city represents the official stand of the city on the matter. We hope that the unabated operation of illegal gambling activities will eventually stop with the operation of legal gambling establishments regulated by concerned government agencies,” Domogan stressed.
Earlier, the local legislative body approved two separate resolutions interposing no objection to the operation of traditional and electronic bingo outlets in the city, particularly at the Albergo Hotel, SM City Baguio and the Baguio Center Mall.
With the operation of the traditional and electronic bingo outlets in the different parts of the city, he is optimistic that the Baguio city Police Office (BCPO) will pursue an all-out campaign to curb the continuous and unabated operation of illegal gambling activities in the city and provide alternatives for gamblers to embrace the existence of legal gambling activities such as the traditional and electronic bingo and the controversial Small Town Lottery (STL) which is under the jurisdiction of the State-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming corporation (PAGCOR) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), respectively.
According to him, the approval of the operation of electronic and traditional bingo outlets by the local legislative body is in accordance to the prescribed rules and regulations by the regulating agencies.
Under PAGCOR guidelines for the establishment of traditional and electronic bingo outlets, companies intending to operate such gaming and amusement establishments should first secure the certification or resolution of no objection from the local government concerned.
Based on the approved resolutions of the local legislative body, the local government will no longer entertain other applications for traditional and electronic bingo operations in the city apart from the electronic bingo games at the Baguio Center Mall, SM City Baguio, Albergo Hotel and the Maharlika Livelihood Center.
Domogan also called on barangay officials to make sure that no illegal gambling activities will exist in their areas of jurisdiction and for them to immediately seek the assistance of the police to go after individuals who continue to make use of the legal gambling operations to cover up the existence of illegal gambling activities in the city for their own personal interests.
By Dexter A. See