Philippines: House lawmakers question closure of 2,000 lotto outlets amid allegations of favoritism towards e-lotto

Lawmakers in Philippine’s House of Representatives have raised concerns regarding the sudden closure of 2,000 lotto outlets nationwide.

During a hearing, a lotto agent testified, suggesting suspicions that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) may be showing favoritism towards e-lotto without prior notification to agents, media reports said.

Initially, the PCSO stated that the closures were due to outlets failing to meet sales targets. However, it was disclosed during the hearing that there were no specified sales targets for agents.

“It’s not about underperformance because unilaterally they decided to remove 2,000 agents after they reduced the capacity from 8,500 to 6,500. It’s clear that there were no targets,” Marikina Representative Stella Quimbo was quoted as saying in a GMA News Online report.

The PCSO then attributed the closures to a transition to a new system, refuting allegations of favoritism towards e-lotto.

Despite denying any bias, the PCSO announced plans to explore the potential acquisition of additional terminals for its new system.