E Sabong & Online Sabong Future Trends
Sabong, a Filipino sport where game fowls battle to death or cause physical trauma, has spurred an online gambling frenzy and created various issues.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has yet to decide if it will suspend e-sabong permits. But the industry has already generated billions of pesos in fees, so President Rodrigo Duterte has said there should not be a ban.
Sabong is a Filipino sport in which two fighting cocks compete against one another and bettors place money on who will win. Unfortunately, this activity can become highly addictive, leading to problems such as gambling addiction, alcoholism and family break-ups.
E Sabong industry quickly escalated
The Philippines has a longstanding tradition of cockfighting, but e sabong was first introduced into the country in 2017 by a group of businessmen who created online betting offices (OTBs) and allowed players to wager using GCash or Paymaya.
Cockfight enthusiasts quickly took notice of this game, and soon it was bringing in millions of pesos each month. Unfortunately, as soon as it became a legitimate source of income for law enforcement officers to investigate, law enforcement began paying attention.
The sabong industry quickly escalated into a problem, as sabungeros could lose their homes, savings and sometimes even lives. There was often the perception that they would spend more money on themselves than their families; this can lead to serious issues within communities.
Controlled by the local government
The local government is responsible for controlling sabong in the Philippines. Its primary duty is to guarantee that licensed e sabong operators abide by laws and operate safely.
Sabong has seen a recent surge in popularity, particularly online. To combat this growing industry, the government has implemented policies such as creating a regulatory body and unifying licensing rules for operators.
Cockfighting has been a major contributor to the country’s economic development, generating millions of dollars for the government and providing employment for local citizens. But perhaps its biggest draw has been the cockfighting market which now generates over $600 million annually; some estimates place its worth at up to one billion. To control this activity, local authorities have implemented regulations on supplies of cocks, competition for them, and keeping out unscrupulous players.
Recently, several individuals associated with e Sabong have gone missing. Unfortunately, some remain unidentified to date.
One man reported being taken from his house by an armed group who claimed to be policemen. He was accompanied by four women staying in his residence at the time.
Aside from disappearances, some have also been robbed or vandalized by sabungeros. One woman in Manila was reportedly forced to sell her eight-month-old baby in order to pay off her e sabong debts.
At a previous press conference, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of all online cockfighting or “e-sabong” operations due to its detrimental effects on society. Nevertheless, this form of gambling remains popular and continues to flourish.