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PCSO starts one-year test run of E-lotto




December 25 ------ The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) began the test run of its E-Lotto digital betting platform that will allow Filipinos anywhere in the world to participate in the same daily lotto draws done here without having to line up to place their bets at physical outlets. 

  

At a press briefing, PCSO General Manager Melquiades Robles said the agency expects this new mode of participating in the lotto draws to double the number of bettors in the popular numbers game from the current 2 million to about 4 million a day, thanks to improved accessibility. PCSO officials said the E-Lotto system was expected to boost the agency’s revenues for the numbers game to P70 billion in 2024, from the P55.3 billion it has so far made through traditional lotto games in the first 11 months of this year. “E-Lotto is a significant milestone for PCSO as we embrace the digital era and cater to the evolving needs of our players,” Robles said. “With E-Lotto, players can now conveniently place bets, choose their lucky numbers, and win exciting cash prizes from the comfort of their own homes.” 

  

How to join 

To register, a bettor should open an account on elotto.pcso.gov.ph, which will require one to enter a mobile number. A one-time password will be sent to this number, and the bettor will be required to nominate a personal identification number (which must be kept confidential). There will also be an online know-your-customer process which will require the registrant to submit a scanned government ID to validate that he or she is over 18 years old. A selfie will also be required for verification. Once registered, the bettor can link his or her GCash account to the E-Lotto wallet. In the future, this will be expanded to other e-wallets as well as bank accounts, although credit card payments are prohibited. “You should not be placing bets using borrowed funds,” Robles explained. 

  

Jackpot raised 

To entice the public to try the new betting system—currently only accessible via internet browsers, until the iOS and Android apps are launched in a few weeks—Robles announced that the agency has raised the jackpot for its Grand Lotto 6/55 and Ultra Lotto 6/58 games to P500 million each, for a total of P1 billion. PCSO officials said the digital version of the traditional lottery games—that aims to provide a safe, modern and accessible gaming experience for Filipinos—will complement the traditional lotto network spanning 4,600 kiosks nationwide. 

  

Spurred by pandemic 

Robles pointed out that the decision to press ahead with the digital version of the numbers game was spurred on by the agency’s experience at the height of the pandemic when strict government lockdowns and social distancing concerns kept many physical outlets closed. “Because of that, we had no lotto revenues and we had less funds at our disposal for our charitable work and to help other government agencies,” he said, explaining the mandate of PCSO to use all of its earnings for various charities and government activities. During the trial run, which will last for one year, players can already place bets online and also receive payments for their winnings electronically. 

  

Sole agent for now 

The Pacific Online Systems Corp. (POSC), a company with 27 years of experience in the lottery industry, signed last Aug. 30 a deal for E-Lotto’s one-year test run in the country. Among the three proponents, POSC was determined to have the capability, readily available systems, and compliance with the required technical guidelines. POSC will act as the exclusive agent only during the test run. 

  

The agency said the one-year testing period underscored its commitment to providing a secure and reliable online betting experience and reflects its dedication to upholding the highest standards of transparency and accountability in implementing modern technological advancements in lotto gaming. One of the key advantages of E-Lotto is its ability to curb the proliferation of illicit online number games and ensure that revenue is remitted to government coffers, contributing to the nation’s progress. 

  

Source: inquirer.net 

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