DAVAO CITY – The city government is looking at regulating "online sabong (cockfight)" as a revenue-generating activity to plug collection shortfalls from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Mayor Sara Z. Duterte said Monday.
In an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR), Mayor Sara said giving licenses to "online sabong" or "electronic sabong (e-sabong)" could also minimize illegal cockfighting and prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Mayor Sara said a potential operator has already approached her on the possibility of obtaining a local license for the gambling scheme but said she would leave it up to the City Council to pass an ordinance to regulate the activity.
“I endorsed it to the City Council because the city government is looking for money from other sources since we cannot rely on our regular sources due to the pandemic,” she said.
Aside from the economic downturn, Mayor Sara said local tax collections also slumped following incentives and tax breaks the city provided to businesses suffering from the pandemic.
Duterte said having the games online may also start a trend for cockfighting enthusiasts to participate in the confines of their homes instead of gathering in undisclosed venues where infections are likely.
The Inter-Agency Task Force has banned cockfighting in the city to maintain the existing social distancing protocols.
In March last year, the city's Covid-19 infection rate skyrocketed because of a cock derby at the New Davao Matina Gallera here. (PNA)