By Ben Rosario
The House Committee on Games and Amusement has unanimously approved a bill that seeks to prohibit live streaming and broadcasting of cockfighting for gambling purposes.
Chaired by Paranaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting, the House panel endorsed passage of House Bill 7528, providing for penalties for violation of gambling and betting on cockfighting matches with the use of the internet and electronic media as basis for the results.
The bill was filed shortly after police started raiding so-called off-track cockfighting betting stations whose operations were considered as violation of the anti-illegal gambling law.
However, a number of police stations have allegedly refused to dismantle cockfighting betting stations in their areas of responsibility without any clear guideline on the law that was supposed to ban the activities.
Authored by ANAC-IP Partylist Rep. Jose T. Panganiban Jr., HB 7528 seeks to prevent the operation and proliferation of activities that promote gambling in the country especially through the use of social and broadcast media.
Banned are the maintenance of website or platform where live streaming of an actual cockfighting for purposes of betting and gambling is being shown.
Also prohibited is the use of radio, television and internet to promote and broadcast an actual cockfighting event.
Under the bill, offenders who are presenter or exhibitor of live streamed cockfight face imprisonment of two to five years and or a fine of P500,000 to P1 million.
Internet service providers and website operators found guilty of violating the law could face up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of no less than P1 million.
HB 7528 directs the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to implement the measure and monitor compliance to the measure.