PCSO ask lawmakers to toughen laws vs illegal lottery firms

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office General Manager Mel Robles, called out lawmakers on Monday to toughen the law against Illegal lottery firms.

Robles personally led the filing of charges at Mandaluyong Prosecutors Office against individuals behind the four firms engaged in unauthorized online lottery operations.

“I am calling out the attention of the lawmakers to toughen the law. Maybe others see that they can handle the penalty but we’ll see. Even if it’s light, we will still pursue the cases against them,” Robles said.

Robles added that PCSO is losing billions of pesos in revenue because of illegal operations perpetrated by the suspects.

“We are serious about this. We will prosecute and imprison everyone associated with this illegal operation to stop them,” he said.

The PCSO stated that  PayMaya reportedly remitted billions to a company operating an illegal online lottery.  “A payment platform, like PayMaya, reported that they were able to remit about P4.7 billion to a company that was operating the Illegal lotto. It is also included in the complaint affidavit,” he said.

The criminal complaints were filed against four companies, Eplayment Corporation, Paymero Technologies Limited, GlobalComRCI International, and Blockchain Smart-Tech Co. I.T. Consultancy.

The complaints were prompted by an investigation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation, which revealed that the mentioned companies were responsible for the ownership, operation, and administration of Pakilotto and Surelotto.

The companies reportedly misused the PCSO’s name, logo, and various lottery games, soliciting and accepting bets from the public through their unauthorized mobile application and websites.

Robles said that based on their investigation, they have found out that the alleged suspects for Illegal online lottery are operating in the cities of Quezon and Cebu. “We found out one in NCR, in Quezon City, the other is in Cebu,” he said.

PCSO reported that Eplayment, which operated under the now-defunct website ‘Pakilotto’, was soliciting and accepting bets from the public at an inflated price of P30 per ticket, a 50% markup compared to the standard P20 lotto ticket.
Meanwhile, Surelotto, a similar mobile app, sold tickets online for P25, a 25% increase from the regular lotto price. Prizes of smaller denominations are allegedly directly deposited into the winner’s registered bank account, while jackpot prizes require winners to visit the Surelotto office in person.

The complaint-affidavit states that the owners, directors, and/or officers of Paymero, Eplayment, GlobalComRMCI, and Blockchain, as owners, operators, and/or administrators of Pakilotto and Sukilotto, have committed Usurpation of Authority under Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code, a violation of R.A. No. 1169, as amended, and a violation of Presidential Decree No. 1602, as amended by Republic Act No. 9287, in connection with Executive Order No. 13, Series of 2017.

Robles emphasized that PCSO remains fully committed to preserving the integrity and legitimacy of its lottery games, ensuring fair treatment and protection for the public.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *