Koronadal goes after ‘illegal’ small town lottery stations

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/ 27 Sept) – The city government has launched a crackdown against the “illegal” operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)-backed Small Town Lottery (STL) stations here due to the lack of local permits.

City Mayor Peter Miguel said Thursday he ordered the dismantling and seizure of STL booths or boxes that were set up in various locations by local operator JY Archers Games and Entertainment Corp.

He directed the local government’s Task Force “Kaayusan” to clear the entire city of the yellow-painted STL booths that mushroomed these past weeks in sidewalks, neighborhoods and other public areas.

The mayor said JY Archers, which is the PCSO’s Authorized Agent Corporation (AAC) for South Cotabato province, did not coordinate or seek proper permits from the local government before installing the booths.

Miguel said some of the booths were set up even near local churches, schools and government offices within the city’s 27 barangays.

“We were harassed, assaulted and insulted by the sudden emergence of these STL boxes. It is an affront against the entire populace,” he said in a radio interview.

The STL booths started proliferating in the area several days after the PCSO announced three weeks ago the awarding of the permit to JY Archers as the AAC for South Cotabato.

The company was among the 13 newly STL agents approved by the agency as of the first week of September.

Although authorized by the PCSO, Miguel said JY Archers should have first sought the city government’s consent before launching its operations in the area.

He said the company cannot just set up its STL outlets anywhere in the city as the matter is covered by local ordinances.

The mayor said majority of local residents are also opposed to the expansion of STL operations in the city.

Miguel said the city does not need another mode of gambling and the presence of the PCSO lotto outlets and the city cockpit should be enough.

“They have no place here in the city. Our residents don’t want them to operate here,” he said.

Miguel added that the local government will gather the seized STL booth as evidences for the filing of appropriate charges against their operator. (MindaNews)