The Dumaguete City government yesterday issued closure notices to 19 lotto outlets for operating without a mayor's permit.
Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria also designated a team composed of Task Force Sagarr members to deliver the notices and, so far, no hitches have been noted. The operators have been given 15 days to windup their businesses.
Sagarbarria had earlier said the issue on illegal lotto operation could be used as an election concern, but he said he cannot issue business permits to the operators without the approval of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
He said he had reiterated to then Dumaguete Bishop John Du his stand against all forms of gambling.
Sagarbarria added he had also refused the proposed put up of a casino in Dumaguete even if it was expected to earn P12 million a year for the city.
Dumaguete is getting P1.2 million a year as its share from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
City Legal officer Neil Ray Lagahit said that if the closure order will not be honored, the CLO will padlock erring lotto outlets.
He also expects a legal battle between the city and the operators, so government lawyers had a technical meeting to prepare for possible charges to be filed, Lagahit said.
Lagahit, who won for the city five of the six cases on lotto operations earlier filed at the Supreme Court, said that Dumaguete stands firm on its belief that a local government unit has the right to regulate lotto operation.*JG
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