While jueteng remains big in Luzon, illegal suertres and masiao maintain a constant presence in Central Visayas.
But while Bohol police said it is a problem in their area, Cebu police and local officials said constant raids and the presence of lotto outlets have led to the decline of suertes and masiao in the province.
Senior Supt. Constantino Valencia Barot Jr., newly-installed Bohol provincial police director, said illegal suertres replaced masiao as the game of choice in 75 percent of the towns in the province.
He said he met with the different police precinct chiefs and ordered them to intensify their crackdown on illegal suertres. While he advocated the abolition of the suertres game done by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), he said it is up to the government to do so.
Illegal suertres is based on one of the popular PCSO lotto games which had three draws scheduled at 1:30 p.m., 5 p.m., and 9 p.m. everyday. Players buy tickets using any three number combination for P10 each.
A successful bettor can win P4,500 while those who won the bet in the ?rambolito? portion could win P750.
In Bohol, a child can bet P1 and win P400. Ushers take illegal suertres bets similar to masiao betting.
In Cebu City, Chief Insp. George Ylanan, chief of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Investigation and Detective Management Bureau (IDMB), said only a small percentage of the population bet on illegal suertres and masiao.
He said people are discouraged to bet on masiao since there are no clear results while the presence of lotto outlets in most corners of the city provide a better alternative to illegal suertres.
Provincial Board (PB) Sun Shimura said illegal suertres and masiao isn't rampant in the province due to the constant police raids in suspected gambling dens.