Sports betting in PH – vice or culture?

By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

DOES gambling run in every Filipino’s blood?

The late Alecks P. Pabico of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism posed a similar question: “Are Filipinos natural-born gamblers?

Marvin Castell and Joel Tanchuco, economics professors at the De La Salle University, also had the same query in a paper they wrote in 2004 that described the “habitual and pervasive social activity” among Pinoys.

“From the humblest barrios to the most affluent villages, Filipinos are into gambling.”

Pinoys put to risk their money into almost everything, including sports.

Sports should be enjoyed, and the whole world of it should be without any pressure.

Imagine a young kid getting shouted at by an elder after losing a big amount of money because the kid’s team was defeated. It is very sad and hard to think that at a very young age, pressure already mounts in the athlete’s mind and body.

Bit by bit, the essence of sports is being diminished.

With money involved, you can no longer play freely the way you want to be, because people now have the capacity to buy you and your game.

The world of sports will not anymore revolve around tactics and physical fundamentals, but money.

If this continues, shall we treat it as culture? Or vice?

As what they say with money, “it’s poison when you have it but it starves you if you don’t.”