MANILA - After reports that the P3 billion gross income of online sabong license-holder Atong Ang only generates over P600 million in government revenues, "e-sabong" should be investigated as thoroughly as POGO operations, said Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday.
"If that can also be established by the stakeholders of this new and high-tech form of gambling, either they pay what they pay in terms of taxes or kung tulad ng sa POGO hindi sila nagbabayad ng tama at sapat na buwis, that will weigh against their case for continuing their business in this country," Hontiveros said in an interview with ANC.
The cases of missing persons related to online cockfighting are a clear red flag against "e-sabong" and should be monitored closely pending further hearings on its operations, Hontiveros added.
"Dapat ang anumang negosyo kahit na something as controversial as gambling, dapat hindi attended ng krimen, should not become the scene of crimes," Hontiveros said on Monday, referring to the cases of missing persons reported in relation to "e-sabong."
(Any business, even on as controversial as gambling, should not be scenes of crimes.)
Online cockfighting should at least be made child-proof while cases of missing persons relating to "e-sabong" are still pending, Hontiveros said.
"E-sabong" can easily be accessible to users through their smartphones, with transactions made via online-cash-apps.
Without the need to physically go to a venue to participate in gambling, there is no regulation over who is allowed or not to participate in the activity.
"Maybe not all forms of gambling are equal, there may be some worse than others," Hontiveros said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to suspend licenses or permits of online sabong despite a resolution passed by a Senate panel, Malacañang said on March 1.