MANILA – Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) general manager Alexander Balutan said on Wednesday that Lotto, Small Town Lottery (STL), and other products have earned P20.8 billion sales in four months, an increase of 29.30 percent from the same period last year.

“Our STL earnings are unprecedented for a total of P7.8 billion from January to April with an increase of 101 percent from the same period last year. Of course, Lotto including Digit Games are still at the forefront with P10 billion and Keno at P1.8 billion. The Instant Sweepstakes also rose to P727 million,” Balutan said.

Record shows that although Lotto and digit games earned P10 billion in four months, its sales decreased at 5.08 percent compared with the same period last year; while Keno increased at 12.48 percent.

For the month of April, Lotto earned P2.3 billion, a 0.22 percent increase from the same period last year.

‘Yung lotto games kasi are jackpot-driven sales. Ina-associate kasi natin ‘yan sa jackpot prize natin. Kapag mataas ang jackpot natin, malaki din ‘yung nagiging sales. Tapos meron din tayong three days na walang sales nung Holy Week kaya apektado talaga ang Lotto sales,” Balutan explained.

As for STL, it can be noted that compared with last month’s earnings where it earned P2 billion, STL only earned P1.9 billion this April.

“From 84, we now have 81 STL operators. We have just terminated three Authorized Agent Corporations (AACs) recently due to repeated violations of the STL-Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) especially various cases of under-remittance of the Presumptive Monthly Retail Receipt (PMRR),” Balutan explained. “We will not hesitate to terminate them.”

Earlier, Balutan warned that there will be a temporary slowing down of revenues from the STL because some AACs was sanctioned and/or terminated for violations of the IRR.

The PCSO Board has already opened applications to replace the terminated AACs, and a consultative meeting with the AACs from all over the country was also conducted to discuss some revisions of the IRR.

It also aims to address issues and problems concerning the shortfalls of STL operators in their PMRR.

“STL operators are now learning to grasp the rudiments of gaming. While we understand that majority of them are new to gaming, they should pay the correct PMRR. Let us continue supporting President Rodrigo Duterte’s all-out war against anti-gambling. For our part, we will strengthen our IRR to completely eradicate jueteng, masiao, swertres, peryahan ng bayan, and all forms of illegal gambling,” Balutan said./PN

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