Friday, January 27, 2006

small town lottery

Money finds it easy to make hands dirty, to make people greedy, to create racketeers and grow thieves. This is especially true with easy money that is simply taken not earned, actually stolen not sweated for. This categorically applies to money snatched from gullible gamblers and transferred to vicious gambling operators.

This sad but living reality is applicable to both the so-called “legal” gambling such as the PAGCOR casinos and the downright illegal numbers games such as jueteng. They are both gambling, both money grabbers, both productive of the misery of many and the bliss of but a few.

And here comes another gambling ploy of the government that goes under the dubious name of “small town lottery” (STL) and that is covered with the mantle of legality. Never mind the twisted scale of values it promotes. Forget the poor and gullible it exploits. So what if it pretends to equate the vice of gambling with the virtue of work.

The small town lottery is anything but small as it is ultimately destined to become a big syndicated gambling form. It is operated anywhere and everywhere—definitely not only in small towns. It exploits the same poor people as it ultimately enriches the same jueteng protectors and operators with their chosen beneficiaries from the local to the national levels. It is jueteng with but another fancy name.

Here is why: those endorsing, funding and operating STL should know by now that bookies are already prepared to go with it. In plain language, bets in the guise of STL are taken by collectors. Yet, the moneys do not really go to STL coffers but to private pockets after deduction of payments for winning numbers. The gains are thus not apportioned according to STL norms. They instead find their way to the big pockets of those running the bookies. STL bookies are operated just like the illegal horse raising bookies. It is the jueteng lords who ultimately run STL bookies.

Who says that the administration is really against illegal gambling? Who claims that jueteng is already out of the picture in this gambling republic?

27 January 2006