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Lessor sees ‘inestimable’ damage from PCSO suspension

Updated: Aug 4, 2019

Pacific Online Systems Corporation, the lessor of the online lottery system being used by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) for its lotto operations in the Visayas and Mindanao, warned that the negative impact of President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to suspend all PCSO gaming operations is inestimable.

In a statement, the company said it hopes the suspension would be lifted sooner rather than later.

Officials said they have been in constant coordination with the PCSO management and are “fully supportive of the latter’s efforts to seek the President’s reconsideration of his decision.”

Pacific Online said the suspension would have negative impact on:

  • the ability of PCSO to raise funds for its charity works,

  • the lives of thousands of countrymen whose livelihood are connected, directly or indirectly, with PCSO’s gaming operations, and

  • the operations of the corporation and its subsidiaries.

Pacific Online’s subsidiary Total Gaming Technologies, Inc. (TGTI), is the equipment lessor for PCSO’s Keno game nationwide.

“The negative impact of the suspension… are inestimable at this point; and the Corporation can only hope that the suspension will be lifted sooner rather than later,” the company said.

Duterte, in a video message aired over the Facebook account of the Presidential Communications Operations Office at almost 11 p.m. Friday, July 26, ordered an immediate stop to all PCSO gaming operations due to alleged “massive corruption” in the agency.

The President ordered the police to implement his directive and shut down all lotto, Small Town Lottery (STL), Peryahan ng Bayan and Keno outlets nationwide starting July 27, 2019.

Pacific Online, in its statement, said it did not have information on the suspension beyond those that have been conveyed through the public statements made by the President as well as of the PCSO general manager.

Pacific Online said, however, that it was “fully confident that, as a listed company, its transactions with PCSO on both lotto and Keno were entered into in accordance with law, and are above-board and fair.”

The Philippine Online Lotto Agents Association, Inc., meanwhile, is set to appeal to the President to allow them to continue to operate while an investigation is conducted into PCSO’s operations.

UPDATE: Duterte lifts suspension of lotto operations

President Rodrigo Duterte lifted late Tuesday, July 30, his order to suspend lotto operation.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said he was advised by Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea that the suspension was lifted after four days because investigators found no anomalies in the conduct of its operations.

“Its sanctity remained untainted and the regulatory rules have been followed,” Panelo said in a statement.

The rest of all gaming operations with franchises, licenses or permits granted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), however, remain suspended.

These are the Small-Town Lottery (STL), Keno and Peryahan ng Bayan (PNB).

Investigation is being conducted on alleged illegal activities and corrupt practices. (Ventures Cebu)

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