Pogi Lazatin opposes poker club in Friendship

ANGELES CITY—After opposing the establishment of sports betting in Nepo Mart Area, opposition Councilor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr., has also voted against the establishment of a poker club in Friendship area, which is also adjacent to several schools, churches and an urban poor area.

In a letter addressed to Andrea Domingo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) dated April 18, 2017, Lazatin asked her office to “look into the matter” since the establishment of the Poker sports club located at Prince Hotel in Riverside Subdivision in Barangay Anunas, Angeles City 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 Site Regulatory Manual Version 2.2 dated September 21, 2016, poker gaming site must be “at least 200 meters away from schools, places of worship/ churches, horse racing outlets, public markets, informal settlers and resettlement areas”

Lazatin claimed that the said poker club is located near American International Learning Academy, Amen Mission Christian School, Gentry International School, Jesus Christ the Eternal Word Parish, Iglesia ni Cristo locale of Friendship and an urban poor area in Barangay Anunas.

The Angeles City Council majority bloc approved recently Resolution number 7648 series of 2017 entitled “Resolution interposing no objection to the establishment, maintenance and operation of PAGCOR licensed Archer88 Entertainment Incorporated of Poker Sports Club located at Prince Hotel, Ganges St., Corner Yangtze St., Riverside Subdivision, Barangay Anunas, Angeles City” sponsored by Councilor Carlito Ganzon.

Lazatin and Councilor Jesus “Jay” Sangil opposed the passage of the resolution during the City Council’s regular session number 5 dated February 21.

During the session, Lazatin asked to put on record the names of the registered owners of the poker club.

Councilor Ganzon, as recorded in the minutes of the session, replied “Korean, wala dito sa Pilipinas. Yung koreanong, sinasabi ni Konsehal, anak ng tatay at nanay niya.”

Ganzon further said that “hindi ko alam ang pangalan wala dito sa Pilipinas.”

Lazatin said that as approving body, the City Council “must know every details of the resolution.”

“Ito ang trabaho ko bilang konsehal ng siyudad,” Lazatin said.

Lazatin also opposed the establishment of electronic bingo, “instawin” and the controversial sportsbetting in New Point Mall, which is adjacent to major schools and universities, Holy Rosary Parish Church and the city’s heritage district, which is one of the major projects of the City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.

“I will continue this crusade to protect our youth against vices,” Lazatin remarked.