CONGRESS PROBE OF ONLINE GAMBLING SOUGHT

Manila, June 4, 2003 --  A lawmaker has vowed to push for a congressional 
inquiry into the Internet gambling system being pushed by the state-run 
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) and Philweb Corp., saying 
the facility "does not provide adequate safeguards against betting by minors."

"Offhand, it would seem there's no guarantee minors will not be able to 
access the gaming facility," Rep. Joseph Santiago (NPC, Catanduanes) said.

"As far as we're concerned, the system, as it is, threatens to corrupt 
minors with access to computers and credit or debit cards," he said.

Santiago, meanwhile, urged Pagcor to stop promoting the electronic gaming 
system through advertisements in television shows that are frequently 
watched by children.

"The advertisements are being inserted in TV sports programs popular among 
child viewers," he complained.

Santiago said "if Pagcor and Philweb are truly committed to discouraging 
access and patronage by minors, then they should stop promoting the system 
in shows that have a large young audience."

The electronic gambling system allows betting on the last two digits of the 
final scores of the winning and losing teams in ballgames of the Philippine 
Basketball Association (PBA).

Informal betting on the so-called "Last 2" of PBA games is popular among 
Filipinos.
Eventually, the system will also allow betting on the results of National 
Basketball Association (NBA) games in the US.

Philweb is Pagcor's technical consultant and service provider in the 
Internet gaming system. (PNA)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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