ANGELES CITY — “I am alarmed that Angeles City may become the e-games capital of the Philippines.”
Thus, said opposition Councilor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr., after he obtained a record from the City Council, indicating that from 2013 up to present, a total of 21 resolutions were passed, posing no objections in the establishment of e-games, e-bingo, e-casino, bingo club, poker club, “instawin” and sportsbetting.
“Ibig sabihin 21 na bagong e-games at e-bingo iyan bukod pa sa mga dating nakatayo na. Baka hindi natin alam nasa 100 ng e-games ang mayroon tayo sa siyudad,” Lazatin said.
Lazatin said he will ask officials of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to conduct and actual site inspection to determine that there are no radial violations.
Lazatin explained that there are no restrictions on the number of e-games outlets in a city but it is possible that several e-games outlets were established near schools, churches and urban poor areas, which is against the guidelines of PAGCOR.
“For example, itong e-casino and e-bingo located in Doña Angelita Building in Don Gueco Avenue, maraming malapit na schools diyan,” Lazatin said.
The establishment of e-games near schools, violates the applicable radial distance restrictions as per section 2 under Regulation 3 of the Gaming Site Regulatory Manual Version 2.2 for electronic and Bingo games set by PAGCOR.
Under the Gaming Regulatory Manual Version 2.2 dated September 21, 2016, e-games must be “at least 300 meters away from schools, places of worship/ churches, horse racing outlets, public markets, informal settlers and resettlement areas.”
“We have to make sure that foremost, our children are safeguarded against these vices,” Lazatin said.
Lazatin opposed last April 12, the passage of a resolution “posing no objection to the operation of an electronic games, “instawin” and sportsbetting by the SHL Amusement and gaming Inc. located at New Point Entec 2, Mall, Units 16-19 Nepo Center, Angeles City,” which is near several schools and churches.
He also opposes the passage of the “Resolution interposing no objection to the establishment, maintenance and operation of PAGCOR licensed Archer 88 Entertainment Inc. of Poker Sports Club located at Prince Hotel in Barangay Anunas.”
The Prince Hotel is located near American International Learning Academy, Amen Mission Christian School, Gentry International School, Jesus Christ Eternal Word Parish, Iglesia ni Cristo locale of Friendship and an urban poor area in Barangay Anunas.