House seen to approve Games and Amusement Board power expansion

February 03, 2019

THE House of Representatives is expected to approve on third and final reading before Congress adjourns this week a proposed law seeking to strengthen and expand the authority of Games and Amusement Board (GAB) to supervise other forms of international amusement events and online cockfighting betting.

Last week, the panel approved on second reading the GAB measure or House Bill (HB) No. 8910, which is a consolidation of HB No. 4843 filed by murdered Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe and Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo and HB No. 6983 filed by Abra Rep. Joseph Sto. Niño B. Bernos.

The supervision of professional sports and betting on horseracing is now under the GAB – a government agency under the Office of the President chaired by former Palawan Governor and Congressman Abraham Kahlil “Baham” B. Mitra and Commissioners Mario Masanguid and Eduard Trinidad.

Mitra thanked the House of Representatives, recalling that the original measure also includes supervision to international beauty pageants, concerts, and maintenance of theme parks

He said the proposal expands the powers of GAB for the enforcement of laws relevant to professional sports, in connection with the developments of new forms of professional sports and modes of betting systems because of new technology.

The bill seeks to provide GAB the mandate to regulate the proliferation of internet-based betting system for cockfighting.

The measure also provides GAB the authority to establish a set of uniform rules and regulations enforceable to all cockpits in the country.

Presently, GAB is the agency, which regulates the conduct of international derbies while local derbies were devolved to the local government units (LGU’s) following the creation of the Philippine Gamefowl Commission.

The consolidated bill was deliberated and approved by the House committee on games and amusements chaired by Parañaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting.

Initially, the consolidated measure was harmonized and approved by a technical working group chaired by Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list Rep. Mark Aeron Sambar.