THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) announced increased Small Town Lottery (STL) sales by P1,946,395,655 for the month of February, which is a 4.13-percent increase from its P1,869,263,505.42 sales last month.
STL is a regular game by PCSO authorized by the national government through Section 1 of Republic Act 1169.
PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said they attributed the increase of STL revenues to the number of operating AACs and their PMRR (Presumptive Monthly Retail Receipt), and of course to the betting public which continues to support lottery and number games.
AACs are corporations or cooperatives duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), respectively, and authorized by the PCSO to conduct STL in a particular area.
Since the launch of STL in 2006, the earnings were fixed only from P4.7 billion to P5 billion. That time, there were only 18 operating AACs.
Then the PCSO Board studied why it was stuck at 18 AACs and found out that the system is controlled by big gambling lords.
“Ayaw nilang i-expand, dagdagan, o palawakin ang STL sa mga probinsya kung saan malakas ang jueteng at iba dahil talagang matatalo ang mga gambling lord na ito. Wala silang mapagkukunan ng pampayola nila sa mga inaalagaan nilang korap na opisyal para tuloy ang kanilang ilegal na gawain,” said Balutan.
In February 2017, PCSO launched its expanded STL. From 18 AACs, the Board approved 56, and later the AACs had reached 92. At present, there are 83 operating AACs.
In May that same year, STL earned an average of more than P1 billion.
Year 2017 ended with STL making a history with its record-breaking earnings of P15,750.895,045 with a 183.63 percent increase from the P6,462,304,820 in 2016. It opened 280,722 jobs as against P173,861 in 2016.
However, in November 2017, a notorious gambling lord was quick to protest and said that the earnings should have been P5 billion to P6 billion.
“This gambling lord pockets P2.37 billion a month from jueteng and pares. With the expansion of STL operations, his area narrowed and his operations are slowly perishing,” said Balutan.
The PCSO Charter, or RA 1169, particularly on revenue allocation, provides that the revenue of the PCSO shall be allocated as follows: 55 percent for prize fund (payment of prizes), 30 percent for charity fund (various charity programs and service) and 15 percent as operating fund (maintenance and operating expenses).