Cebu police wage war against illegal gambling

·2 min read

SINCE January, the Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) has conducted 180 anti-illegal gambling operations, arresting 180 suspects.

It has also seized P47,818 in cash believed to be proceeds from illegal gambling.

Based on the data provided by Lieutenant Colonel Mark Gifter Sucalit, deputy director for operation of the CPPO, majority of those arrested were involved in the illegal form of the numbers game swertres, followed by players of the illegal coin game hantak or cara y cruz (heads or tails), illegal card games, illegal cockfights and mahjong.

The CPPO also arrested suspects who bet on games like basketball or billiards or activities that use physical exertion or skills competitively.

However, Sucalit said they are mostly going after people who are involved in the illegal form of the numbers game swertres.

“Gambling has become part of the culture, a pastime. But sad to say when it comes to betting alredy or involvement of money, so it becomes illegal,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

The police official said they are intensifying their campaign against illegal gambling following the legal complaint filed by the Saturn Gaming N’ Amusement Corporation, the company authorized by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to operate the Small Town Lottery numbers game swertres in the province.

Sucalit said they are also monitoring different kinds of online gambling like the card games “tong-its” and baccarat, adding that they are still coordinating with their legal department regarding what steps to take to address the problem.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, deputy director for administration of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), the challenge is finding out who is behind this form of gambling since it is electronic.

He said these online card games surfaced when the government declared e-sabong, or online betting on live cockfights, illegal.

He said that once a person becomes addicted to gambling, it will affect everything in his life, especially his family.

“The fact that you don’t even know who you are playing against or how the game is actually being played means you have already lost,” he said in Cebuano, urging the public not to patronize online gambling.

Parilla said the CCPO has intensified its monitoring of online gambling by launching cyber patrols with operatives of the Regional Anti-Cyber Crime Unit in Central Visayas. (AYB/PJB)