MANILA— Malacañang on Tuesday was confident the country's gaming regulator will be able to find new sources of revenue after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the "end" of online sabong operations nationwide.
The revenue loss from e-sabong is estimated to be up to P6 billion for this year, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has said.
"Tiwala kami sa PAGCOR to generate new revenues," acting Palace spokesperson Martin Andanar said in a press briefing.
(We trust PAGCOR to generate new revenues.)
Andanar noted that a formal order from the President has yet to be released from Malacañang's record office.
Duterte has ordered all e-sabong operations stopped after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) survey showed its supposed negative impacts to Filipino society.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said his agency recommended the suspension "until a better set of framework and regulations are formulated" and until stakeholders were protected from the "moral decay of society."
At least 30 sabungeros have disappeared due to e-sabong, authorities said, while 8 cops involved in online gambling have already been charged.
PAGCOR authorized 6 companies to do e-sabong as of April last year, but it feared that illegal online gambling will be an offshoot of the development.