No papers yet for lotto closure, says lessor Pacific Online

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte's order to close all gaming operations by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has no official papers yet, according to a company which leases lottery equipment.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday, July 29, Pacific Online Systems Corporation said it still has no documents on the order yet, other than reports from the media.

"Unfortunately, to date, Pacific Online still has no information on the suspension of PCSO's gaming operations beyond those that have been conveyed through the public statements made by the President as well as of the PCSO general manager," the company said.

"The corporation, however, has been in constant coordination with the PCSO management and is fully supportive of the latter's efforts to seek the President's reconsideration of his decision," it added.

Pacific Online is the lessor of the online lottery system being used by the PCSO for its lotto operations in the Visayas and Mindanao, while its subsidiary, Total Gaming Technologies, is the equipment lessor for PCSO's Keno game nationwide.

It asserted that its transactions with the PCSO for both lotto and Keno were entered into in accordance with law, and are aboveboard and fair.

Pacific Online is under Belle Corporation, another listed company, which is led by the Sy family. (READ: Pacific Online drags down Belle Corp's earnings in first half of 2019)

Pacific Online noted that the order's impact is "inestimable at this point" and it "can only hope that the suspension will be lifted sooner rather than later."

The PCSO previously said it will ask Duterte to reconsider his order against its gaming operations. –

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.