E-bingo operation in city illegal

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BAGUIO CITY  – The operation of an electronic bingo gaming center along Marcos highway is considered to be illegal after the city’s permits and licensing division failed to renew its business permit following the operator’s failure to secure an updated resolution from the city council interposing no objection to the e-bingo games in the city.

Dr. Braille Van Reyes, city permits and licensing officer, said the electronic bingo gaming station of Mr. Rafael A. Tabora along Marcos highway is classified to be guerrilla type because its permit was no longer renewed for this year.

“We are now on the final stages of the closure procedure of the establishment. As soon as the mayor shall have signed the administrative order mandating the closure of the e-bingo operation, we will immediately close the establishment for good,” Reyes stressed.

He explained aside from the e-bingo operator’s failure to renew its business permit, the authority granted to the operator by the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp-oration (PAGCOR) to operate the gaming stations will expire next month and that the same was also not renewed.

Under the revised PAGCOR Charter, operators of casino, bingo and other PAGCOR-regulated amusement games must first secure the consent of the host local government through a certificate of no objection to the same prior to the issuance of their respective franchises or authority to operate amusement games in a certain locality.

Reyes said the period given by the city government for the renewal of business permits expired last month that is why personnel of the city permits and licensing division had been dispatched to conduct round-the-clock inspections whether or not business operating in the city’s 128 barangays were issued permits to help regulate the operation of such establishments.

According to him, notices of compliance will be issued to establishments that are found to be operating without business permits and that their owners are given a grace period of 5 to 15 days to secure their permits from the local government or else their establishments will be subsequently closed during the next round of inspection with the findings that the owners did not yet secure their permits.

He cited the operation of the e-bingo gaming station will be subjected to the appropriate monitoring of their personnel in order to ensure that the operator will no longer operate after the closure order shall have been served to him by the city in the coming weeks.

It can be recalled that the electronic bingo gaming station suddenly emerged after its operator was able to secure an unnumbered resolution signed by nine councillors interposing no objection to the establishment of the e-bingo gaming station and an accompanying letter signed by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan making use of the unnumbered resolution as his basis in also issuing his no objection to the e-bingo outlet.

However, Mayor Domogan withdrew his endorsement letter after some city council members, who earlier signed the unnumbered resolution, claimed that their signatures to the resolution was forged, thus, the same had no basis to stand on.

Reyes said other e-bingo outlets operating in the city are also considered to be illegal since the local government did not issue the appropriate business permits to the supposed operators wanting to operate the PAGCOR-regulated authorizations in the different parts of the city even without securing the required business permits. By Dexter A. See

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