Through the years, operation of illegal gambling has been a thorn in the government’s anti-criminality campaign. It has even gone totally overboard as gambling lords have intertwined their number games with the state-run small town lottery. Revenue from this underground economy has never been as lucrative: industry players from the lowest scum – the kobrador (collector) to the high and mighty gambling lord have been living the affluent life.The reason for this is the seemingly formidable alliance between gambling personalities and erring politicians and law enforcement scalawags that cultivates the hydra-like existence (Well, aside the innate risk taking attitude of Filipinos and penchant for a quick buck).
How can the government solve such a problem? May the latest rub-out incident at Atimonan, Quezon will give it a clue: let the gambling industry fight each other ala survival of the fittest. Maybe if their number dwindles then it will be easy for government forces to pick them up. Maybe the escalating hazard and risk that come with the illegal gambling business will shoo away participants. This is what is happening to drug dealers in Mexico who are busy killing each other in order to grab a bigger share of the pie. Maybe in the end when there is only one drug syndicate standing will regulation comes in.
The Atimonan rub-out is just grim but maybe the most effective deterrent against illegal gambling or a measure to shrink it to a “manageable” size. It is a reminder that greed will eventually wipe the bad and rotten specie.