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Gov’t permits ‘sabong’, other betting activities





Cockfighting enthusiasts or “sabungeros” rejoiced as the government on Friday allowed more sports and betting activities to take place while the country is still under community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an announcement made over State-run PTV-4, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved with conditions the resumption of cockfighting, beach volleyball, and off-track horse racing.

According to Roque, the IATF allowed the holding of a beach volleyball tournament by the Philippine Super Liga under a “sports bubble concept”.

He added that the operation of off-track horse race betting stations will be allowed in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) or lower.

Horse racing has been going on since last month but off-track betting was not allowed. Most of the racing tracks are located outside metropolis – two in Cavite and one in Batangas.

Also celebrating were cockfighting enthusiasts after the IATF allowed the operation of licensed cockpits and the conduct of cockfighting activities in areas under the modified GCQ.

However, the IATF has not allowed the broadcast and online forms of cockfighting activities. Licensed cockpits should likewise secure the approval of the local government unit (LGU). Live audience is also prohibited.