COMMITTED to ensuring the integrity of the results of government-sanctioned lottery games, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Mel Robles and Director Retired Judge Felix Reyes on Monday (October 23) personally led the filing of charges against individuals behind the four firms engaged in the unauthorized online lottery operations in the country.
Robles said the PCSO is losing billions of pesos in revenues because of the illegal operations perpetrated by the suspects.
“Hindi tayo nagbibiro. Kakasuhan at ipakukulong natin ang lahat ng may kaugnayan sa iligal na operasyong ito para mahinto na ang kalokohan nila,” Robles said.
The criminal complaints were filed before the Mandaluyong Prosecutors Office against four companies, Eplayment Corporation, Paymero Technologies Limited, GlobalComRCI International, and Blockchain Smart-Tech Co. I.T. Consultancy.
GM Robles explained the unauthorized operations conducted by these entities not only jeopardize the Agency’s revenue but also erode public trust in the legitimacy and fairness of its authorized games.
The criminal complaints were prompted by an investigation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation, which revealed that these groups were responsible for the ownership, operation, and administration of Pakilotto and Surelotto.
The companies reportedly misused the PCSO’s name, logo, and various lottery games, soliciting and accepting bets from the public through their unauthorized mobile applications and websites.
GM Robles said the evidence obtained during the investigation effectively proves their illegal activities, leaving no room for doubt or ambiguity.
“The PCSO is fully committed to ensuring that those involved face the appropriate legal consequences for their actions,” he said.
The investigation discovered that Eplayment, which operated under the now-defunct website ‘Pakilotto,’ was soliciting and accepting bets from the public at an inflated price of 30 pesos per ticket, a 50% markup compared to the standard 20-peso lotto ticket.
Similarly, Surelotto, a similar mobile app, sold tickets online for 25 pesos, a 25% increase from the regular price.
Prizes of smaller denominations are allegedly directly deposited into the winner’s registered bank account, while jackpot prizes require winners to visit the Surelotto office in person.
Furthermore, GlobalComRCI and Blockchain Smart-Tech entered into an agreement with Eplayment and technology provider Paymero, using the latter’s software for processing payments and managing financial account information.
Although GlobalComRCI and Blockchain Smart-Tech were considered facilitators, they reportedly established a revenue-sharing arrangement.
The complaint-affidavit states that the owners, directors, and/or officers of Paymero, Eplayment, GlobalComRCI, and Blockchain, as owners, operators, and/or administrators of Pakilotto and Sukilotto, have committed Usurpation of Authority under Article 177 of the Revised Penal Code, a violation of R.A. No. 1169, as amended, and a violation of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1602, as amended by Republic Act No. 9287, in connection with Executive Order No. 13, Series of 2017.
“PCSO remains fully committed to preserving the integrity and legitimacy of its lottery games, ensuring fair treatment and protection for the public,” emphasized GM Robles.
He added that these legal actions should serve as a stern warning to those engaged in illegal activities, and the PCSO will continue to work diligently to maintain a secure and trusted lottery experience for all participants.65