GCash, Maya unbothered by e-sabong halt

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
GCash, Maya unbothered by e-sabong halt
The e-sabong industry generates P640 million a month in revenues for the Philippine government, President Rodrigo Duterte has said.
Philstar.com / Irish Lising

MANILA, Philippines — Mobile wallets GCash and Maya are not bothered by the suspension of e-sabong operations, with officials from both companies saying that the halt will not have a huge impact on their revenues. 

"E-sabong, as we've said before, doesn't have a significant contribution in our transaction value. Our revenue and profit trajectory is really doing well, very positive, and we expect to end the year at even better levels than last year," GCash president and CEO Martha Sazon said in a briefing on Friday. 

The platform earlier rejected allegations that e-sabong or the online betting on live cockfighting events accounts for the bulk or 75% of its transactions. 

A company official told The STAR on March 6 that the share of e-sabong transactions coursed through GCash "is just small."

Meanwhile, end-to-end digital financial services platform Maya— formerly known as Paymaya— said it is not impacted by the e-sabong suspension.

"There is no impact on our revenue and on our business," Maya President Shailesh Baidwan said in another briefing on Thursday. 

Duterte earlier said he is putting an end to e-sabong operations, citing its social impact. In his recorded "Talk to the People" aired on May 3, he said was following the advice of Department of the Interior and Local Governance (DILG) chief Eduardo Año who conducted a survey to determine public sentiment on e-sabong.

The survey showed that majority or 62% of the 8.400 respondents interviewed were not in favor of the online betting activities. 

A day after Duterte's announcement, DILG said that continued e-sabong operations are now illegal, as violators face arrest or legal charges.

There is no official order yet, however, on stopping e-sabong, acting presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar said in a briefing on May 4.

The e-sabong industry generates P640 million a month in revenues for the Philippine government, Duterte has said, who earlier defended its operations

Earlier this year, a Senate panel held four hearings on the disappearances of over 30 individuals reportedly linked to e-sabong activities. — With a report from Ramon Royandoyan

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