The present Administration is in fact the biggest gambling lord in the country. It doest not only have PAGCOR as its official gambling arm. It has even impacted the PCSO with the gambling virus. It does not only promote legalized gambling but also tolerates illegal gambling.
Jueteng is definitely back in many provinces. Masiao is much alive. It is back to normal. Their operators are back in business. The poor are again exploited. The gullible continue to be fooled. And their money ultimately land in the fat bank accounts of the gambling financiers and their protectors and well chosen beneficiaries.
Casinos here and there. Bingo in big malls. Lotto and Easy 2 practically everywhere. Video Carrera and Fuit Game in the neighborhood. Lotting and Bookies in many streets and corners. Add hereto the forthcoming PCSO Small Town Lottery (STL) and the gambling list becomes longer. You name it and this country has it.
And now presenting “Keno”—another numbers’ game to be launched by PCSO. It has several variants. All these however are all gambling. And just like any gambling form, it promises excitement plus huge winnings—but as usual, the gamblers are ultimately the losers. The gambling operators are the final winners. And watch out for other legalized forms of gambling. They are “under study”.
Legalized gambling in the Philippines, PAGCOR in particular, trumpets its alleged good works for the poor, for school children, for the common welfare. What it does not say is the value system it destroys, the gambling addicts it creates, the families it breaks. Given the pervasive miserable socio-economic situation in the country, gambling can be rightfully considered not only shameful but also criminal.
One can only wonder what value system and thinking process are being promoted by the present Administration. You are poor, gamble even the little you have left. You are hungry, gamble and have even less food in your table. You are jobless and hopeless, try gambling and become even more desperate and aimless.
While someone somewhere might strike it rich somehow through gambling, gambling impoverish thousands. This is the truth notwithstanding all arguments to the contrary.
11 February 2006