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House grants 25-year franchise to Atong Ang’s e-sabong firm

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
House grants 25-year franchise to Atong Angâs e-sabong firm
In session last Monday, congressmen voted 161-2 to approve on third and final reading House Bill No. 10199 that grants a 25-year franchise to Lucky 8 Star Quest for live broadcast of cockfighting activities and derbies through online and other similar means.
Geremy Pintolo / File

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has passed a measure granting franchise to online cockfighting or “e-sabong” firm Lucky 8 Star Quest Inc., operator of the popular Pitmasters Live games of Filipino-Chinese gaming aficionado Charlie “Atong” Ang.

In session last Monday, congressmen voted 161-2 to approve on third and final reading House Bill No. 10199 that grants a 25-year franchise to Lucky 8 Star Quest for live broadcast of cockfighting activities and derbies through online and other similar means.

The bill also allows the e-sabong firm to construct, establish, operate and maintain on-cockpit and off-cockpit betting stations.

In approving the measure, lawmakers cited the benefits to be derived from the e-sabong operations of the firm, particularly the revenue potential of offsite betting activities.

The House appeared to have prioritized the franchise, which it approved simultaneously with the ongoing deliberations on the 2022 national budget.

HB 10199 was approved on second reading just four session days earlier or last Sept. 13.

Former speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano opposed the bill, saying that e-sabong and other forms of gambling “destroy the moral fiber of our society.”

He said “e-sabong” is accessible via the internet or through mobile phones and could now reach a greater majority of Filipino households, including minors.

“This unnecessarily exposes the youth to the perils of gambling by making it very convenient, accessible and enticing to them. This allows for the addiction to grow worse,” Cayetano argued.

Earlier, Lucky 8 Star Quest Inc. secured license to operate from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

ATONG ANG
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