MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is reviewing the applications of at least 200 gaming firms seeking franchises to operate the Loterya ng Bayan that will replace the small town lottery (STL).
PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II said the PCSO is finalizing the review of STL that has been allowed to operate in some parts of the country until the Loterya ng Bayan starts operations.
The audit entails evaluation of the entire project, including the gaming companies complying with PCSO implementing rules and regulations.
Rojas said the result of the audit will be the basis for the operation of the PCSO Loterya ng Bayan (PLB) that has been postponed several times.
The launching of PLB has been deferred pending further evaluation of STL.
Among the provinces where STL is still allowed to operate are Batangas, Quezon, Pampanga, Bataan, Occidental Mindoro, Laguna, Bulacan, Negros Occidental-Iloilo City-Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Oriental Mindoro, Ilocos Norte, Batangas, Nueva Ecija, Isabela and Cavite.
At least 200 gaming corporations, including existing STL operators, have applied for a permit to operate PLB in their localities.
The PCSO said it would tighten the screening of applicants to insure that they are not fronting for big-time illegal gambling operators.
The PCSO said PLB applications were filed for provinces of Pangasinan, Bulacan, Zambales, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Pampanga, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Quirino, Cagayan, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Albay Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Sorsogon.
At least seven applications were filed for Pangasinan alone, its three congressional districts and the cities of San Carlos and Urdaneta.
There are other gaming firms that filed PLB applications in the National Capital Region for the cities of Makati, Marikina, Pasay, Quezon City and Taguig.
For the Visayas and Mindanao areas, Negros Occidental tops the list with applicants from the six congressional districts, including the cities of San Carlos, Silayan and Sipalay.
Applications were also filed for Calape in Bohol, Cebu City and Lapu Lapu City, Southern Leyte, Iloilo and Zamboanga City in Mindanao.