Gambling (Alias Gaming)

IT all starts with a big hypocrisy—even but considering its very title: Gambling is but a “game” so that when one gambles, he is but engaging in “gaming”—an amusement, a recreation, a contest. It is but a pastime, a leisure, an entertainment. So it is that there are now legal and paralegal gambling establishments and entities all over the country. And so it is that as of today, there are no less than thirty-five (35) legal gambling—“gaming”— establishments in the Philippines plus at least some thirty-three (33) paralegal gambling forms from the infamous jueteng to the deceiving Masiao. “Illegal” gambling there is none in the country—courtesy of the “Daang Matuid” creator and promoter. This is the joke of the decade.

If the still ruling administration has one truly genuine and impressive achievement on the occasion of its tragic and disastrous leadership for the practically past six long years, this is nothing else than gambling, gambling, and more gambling. So it is that legal as well as paralegal gambling forms in the Philippines are practically the inexhaustible source of huge amounts of money for funding the demands and needs of many political candidates—especially those lining up as collaboration in the promotion of the tiresome “Daang Matuid”. Such a devious, disastrous, and nebulous phenomenon has acquired special relevance on the occasion of the forthcoming 2016 Election, particularly so in terms of money and more money. And the said money—“gold”—is usually the provider of the other two of the infamous trio of “guns” and “goons”. Dirty politics and dirty money make a long standing pairing which in turn makes a dirty government. This is neither a profound truth to understand nor a confounding phenomenon to accept.

Gambling debases the person of the gambler, cheapens the profession, undermines his integrity—credibility included. This is precisely why, just as gambling dens are surrounded by shadowy security guards, gamblers are themselves shadowy characters as well. So it is that the plain and simple truth of the matter is that gambling equals vice, addiction, covetousness, enslavement plus corruption. And this is exactly why not few gamblers are downright local and foreign gangsters. So it is that the too long and still supreme governing authority in the country even had a special skyway built so that foreign gamblers will not be delayed by traffic on their way to their favorite infamous gambling dens.

Translation: Give way to the casino gamblers! They are big Philippine benefactors! They are irreplaceable in the socio-economic development of the country!

One thing really unique and amazing in Philippine realities is that Casinos are exempted from AMLAC coverage. Why? It is precisely because they are the best places to launder dirty—stolen, pilfered, extorted—money? Is this why even the local banking industry is now sadly suffering from marked suspicion from their investors to their patrons? And what will the Philippine Senate do about the now duly exposed derangement of exempting casinos from the AMLAC? When will the Philippine government drive away—or welcome much less bend its knees to big and well-known foreign gamblers in particular?

After all is said and done, the truth of the matter is that there is no other more successful and impressive industry that sovereign Malacañang has nurtured and developed other than gambling by professional gamblers plus gangsters! (Oscar V. Cruz)

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