Less than five days after ordering the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to suspend all operations, and Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte, has now reversed this decision.
According to reports from GGRAsia and Inside Asian Gaming, the PCSO is under the direct supervision of the Office of the President and is responsible for running a wide range of lottery, keno, scratchcard and horseracing games for the benefit of numerous social welfare programs.
President Duterte had ordered the state-run operator to shutter operations from Friday afternoon amid allegations that it was a hotbed of ‘massive corruption’ and had been defrauding the nation out of revenues worth millions. He followed up by detailing that the PCSO would not be permitted to resume business until the country’s National Bureau of Investigation had completed an official inquiry into his allegations of corruption and fraud.
But, Inside Asian Gaming cited Presidential spokesperson, Salvador Panelo, as declaring that this suspension has now been reversed after the aforementioned inquiry ‘found no anomalies in the conduct of its operation’ and determined that the PCSO’s ‘sanctity remained untainted [with] proper regulatory rules followed.’
Reportedly read a statement from Panelo…
“As per the advice of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the suspension of lotto operations has been ordered lifted by the President. Franchise holders and operators of lotto outlets may now resume with their operations. The lifting of the suspension of lotto operations takes effect immediately.”
GGRAsia reported that the about-face means that some 5,000 PCSO outlets can again offer games although the Presidential spokesperson proclaimed that the ban is to remain indefinitely in place for non-computerized ‘small-town lottery’ systems that may be more vulnerable to manipulation and fraud.