Spanish Franchise Delisted in Philippines

Published Thursday, March 05, 2009 -

Jueteng is a numbers game played in the Philippines. The game originated in China and means "flower" (jue) and "bet" (teng). Although illegal, it is a widely popular game with participation that crosses most, social and economic boundaries. With long odds and no limits on minimum or maximum bets, the lure of quick riches through a lucrative payout is its strongest appeal.

The game relies heavily on having a large number of wagers, with no limit to the amount. Usually the gambler selects two numbers from 1 through 37, and the winning number is determined by selecting a pair of numbers from a set of 37 numbered balls. Thus the theoretical odds of winning on any one play are 1/666. This is unlike the numbers games played in the U.S. during the early part of the 20th century, where the last digit of the winning pay out or the number of the winning horse for three consecutive races determined the winning combination.

Although much has been done to curtail or eradicate this form of unregulated gambling by government and community leaders, it appears that such efforts have fallen by the wayside due to its vast popularity. In the 1980s, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) sanctioned and operated a similar game, called "Small Town Lottery," Meridien Vista Gaming Corp.,a Spanish-owned company said, their virtual game was not small town lottery.

A recent push for the delisting of the gambling company from the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) for allegedly collecting bets in the province without authority, has caused some confusion.

Board Member Patricio Dumlao Jr. said, "We have not given a go-signal to Meridien Vista Gaming Corp. (MVGC) to conduct business in the province." This matter was not denied by representatives of Meridien, headed by its president, Aitor Totoricabuena, who stressed that the game they were operating was not Small Town Lottery, also claiming that it was not jueteng. Bishop Ramon Villena and other anti-gambling advocates denounced the scheme as merely jueteng in a new box, whose legality is still questionable, to say the least.

Related news

Return to Latest News