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House moves to strengthen Games and Amusement Board

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The House of Representatives committee on games and amusements chaired by Parañaque second-district Rep. Gus Tambunting has formed a technical working group that will fine-tune House Bill No. 4843, which seeks to strengthen the Games and Amusement Board (GAB).

The objective is to expand the regulatory powers and supervisory functions of the agency over professional sports, allied activities, and other forms of amusement.

The committee named PBA partylist Rep. Mark Aeron Sambar as head of the TWG that will deliberate further on the bill authored by Ako Bicol partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe and Quezon City second-district Rep. Winnie Castelo.

Sambar suggested a review of the respective powers and jurisdiction of both the local government units (LGUs) and GAB over gaming activities.

Among the recommendations of the committee members that will be included in the TWG discussions are the following:

Expand the definition of “professional sports or competitions” and “professional athlete”;
Grant GAB the authority to reduce the 45-day rest period required of boxers, wrestlers, or fighters reckoning from the date of their last fight or bout to not less than 30 days subject to certain conditions;
Replace the proposed Athletes’ Welfare Fund with a Trust Fund to cover all professional athletes and not only boxers; and
Identify the quasi-judicial powers of GAB in a separate provision.