Pimentel seeks probe on PCSO's lotto games

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2022 10:45 PM

MANILA -- Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III filed Resolution 253 Wednesday night that seeks to "determine and maintain the integrity and trustworthiness of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) lotto games."

Pimentel, in his penned resolution filed before the Senate at 6:35 in the evening, pointed out the issue of "transparency."

The PCSO launched the online lottery in the Philippines in January 1995.

Lotto has overtaken the popularity of sweepstakes ticket sales, and now serves as the flagship game of the PCSO.

But in July 2019, then President Duterte ordered to shutdown the Lotto operations amid allegations of anomalies and corruption, the senator, in his resolution, pointed out.

"The common criticism leveled by the betting public against the Lotto is the lack of transparency. Since the identity of the winner is not revealed, the people are suspicious whether the conduct of the lottery is above board," Pimentel, in his resolution, said.

"Also, the reported lag time between the announcement of the results and the announcement of the number of winners leads people to suspect that this lag time is used to manipulate and insert 'lucky bettors' into the list of winners," he added.

"The frequency of hitting the jackpot and the presence of multiple winners despite the low probability of winning (from 1 in 5,245,786 chances in the case of the 6/42 Lotto to 1 in 40,475,358 in the case of the 6/58 Ultra Lotto) heighten the suspicion even more," Pimentel said.

The most controversial as Pimentel noted, is the 6/55 Grand Lotto result which came out with 433 winners.

"A contender for the Guinness Book of World records," Pimentel said.

"There is need to make sure that the processes involved in the conduct of the lotto games by the PCSO are honest and free from any kind of fraud because they are State-sanctioned forms of gambling and rely on their integrity for the successful raising of funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character," Pimentel said.

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