ANGELES CITY — “This is a conscience vote. I cannot accept having such industry near the schools, church and heritage district of the City.”
Thus said, opposition Councilor, Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr., after he opposed last March 31 the approval of PR-291-03-17 entitled a Resolution interposing 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, sponsored by Councilor Jericho Aguas.
Lazatin said that while the 300-meter distance from schools set by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) does not apply to malls or arcades, he cannot allow the approval of its operation since it will “set a bad example to our youth.”
Lazatin also expressed his apprehensions towards approving sports betting in the city.
“Ako po ay nababahala sa sportsbetting, baka po maraming estudyante ang malulong dito,” Lazatin said.
Sportsbetting, Lazatin said, is the activity of predicting results and placing wager on the outcome. The frequency of sports bet upon varies by culture, with the vast majority of bets placed on either football, basketball, baseball, mixed martial arts, boxing both amateur and professional.
Lazatin added that sportsbetting can also extend to non-athletic events, such as reality show contests and political elections, and non-human contests such as horse racing, greyhound racing and illegal underground dog fighting.
“Masyado po itong malawak. Baka po makita natin ang mga anak natin na tumataya sa simpleng basketball game once na nabuksan ang establishment na ito. Hindi na pumapasok at inuubos ang baon sa sugal,” Lazatin said.
Laztin, however, was saddened since the majority bloc approved the resolution, citing the PAGCOR guidelines.
Lazatin and fellow opposition Councilor Jesus “Jay” Sangil voted against it.
“We are obviously outnumbered. But I will continue the fight,” Lazatin said.
Lazatin said he will inform the schools’ administration and parents-teachers associations as well as the church administration through official communications.
“I will ask them to join me in this crusade and I will assure them that this not about politics. This is about protecting our children against vices,” Lazatin said.