Due to illegal gambling, the government launched the Small Town Lottery (STL) to attempt to regulate and clean up the gaming industry. However, it seems ineffective as many still oppose this game, even with government permission.
STL in the Philippines: A Countermeasure Against Irregularities?
STL is a type of state-operated lottery found in provinces and cities. Its goal is to eliminate and provide a solution to the widespread issue of illegal gambling. Its earnings contribute to public funds, showcasing transparency and targeting gambling operators without licenses.
The small-town lottery was launched as part of the directive of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). Its mission was to combat and eradicate jueteng, demonstrating concern for the well-being of Filipinos.
Many compare STL and jueteng. However, the true meaning and difference between the two are that STL is legal, while any government agency does not cover the other.
Additionally, the small-town lottery follows guidelines, particularly when it comes to involving the authorities. According to the rules, the police cannot arrest anyone authorized by the PCSO to conduct STL operations unless there is a complaint. They can also be arrested if they violate the Republic Act No. 9287 or the Anti-Illegal Gambling Act.
Benefits of STL
Since its test run on December 28, 2005, STL has significantly contributed to the country’s economy. From 2006 to 2007, it generated revenue exceeding three billion pesos and created approximately 62,000 jobs for collectors and cobradores.
The earnings from STL are divided, with accompanying percentages:
10% for the city or municipality
5% for the provincial government
2.5% for the congressional district
5% for the Philippine National Police (PNP).
However, STL failed to achieve its mission and purpose: to eradicate illegal games like jueteng. Instead, it became another vice for Filipinos, slowly becoming part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Many now oppose this type of “legal” gambling.
For instance, the promised transparency of the PCSO has not been fulfilled. Instead of combating illegal gambling, STL became a part of it, especially as the agency managing it became embroiled in corruption scandals.
This has not been beneficial to communities, especially those already rife with controversy and corruption. Instead of being a solution, STL has become a problem for Filipinos who have succumbed to betting on it, especially considering its potential to change lives.
For example, Bishop Julito Cortes of Dumaguete opposed the return of STL to his province, emphasizing its negative impact and potential harm to morality. He argued that STL and similar games encourage the poor to rely on luck and chance instead of working diligently.
In fact, the Bishop has a point, considering the numerous controversies and allegations involving STL, especially since it is government-managed. Consequently, this game is gradually sinking.
Comparing it to licensed online casinos and operators under the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), they are far more enticing and attractive to play. So, what are you waiting for? Register now at a licensed casino full of legal and enjoyable games!