House approves stiffer penalty for game-fixing

Published November 14, 2018, 7:25 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Ben Rosario

The House of Representatives has imposed stiffer penalties for the crime of game-fixing as lawmakers moved strongly to ensure fair conduct of sports competitions in the country.

On a vote of 261 to 18, the Senate and the House of Representatives decide to extend martial law in Mindanao up to December 31, 2017 in a joint, special session at the Batasang Pambansa yesterday. Inset photo shows Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III (left) and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez presiding over the session that lasted more than seven hours. (Jansen Romero, Alvin Kasiban)
House of the Representatives (Manila Bulletin File Photo)

Voting 160 in favor and 0 against, the Lower House passed on final reading HB 8204 or the proposed Game-Fixing Act.

HB 8204 provides a broader definition of game-fixing by including the acts of point-shaving and game machination as prohibited acts in professional or amateur sports competitions.

Point-shaving refers to any arrangement by which the skill or ability of any player or participants in a game, race, or sports competitions to make points or scores are deliberately limited in order to influence the result of the game.

Game machinations refer to any other fraudulent deceitful, unfair, or dishonest means or manner employed for the purpose of influencing the result of any game, race, or sports contest.

The bill imposes stiffer penalties compared to provisions of Presidential Decree 1602 on game-fixing.

Under HB 8204, a referee, athlete, umpire, coach and other sports officials involved in game fixing is liable to a maximum 12 years imprisonment and fine of not less than P1 million.

A pubic officer involved in the offense faces an additional penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding any public office.

HB 8204 is authored by Reps. Crisitina “Chiqui” Roa-Puno (NUP, Antipolo City); Conrado Estrella III (PDP-Laban, Pangasinan), and Rogelio Pacquiao (PDP-Laban, Sarangani).