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OKBet to take charge in settling MPBL partnership concerns says Kenneth Duremdes

According to MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, OKBet is now doing steps to address the hunches that arose upon sealing their partnership. Ivan Saldajeno (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

STA. ROSA, Laguna--MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes confirmed on Monday night that he received a letter from the Games and Amusements Board last week which sought an explanation about the league's new partnership with OKBet and has already taken an action about it.

According to the PBA legend, the sports betting platform is now working with the Ad Standards Council to formalize the legalities of its partnership with the MPBL.

"It's for OKBet to do that, not on our side. Ang OKBet dapat ang mag-apply nyan sa Ad Standards Council. Na-address naman yan sa OKBet yan, and they will do that for us para masagot natin yan, although nag-reply na tayo kay Chairman Baham [Mitra]," Duremdes told Dugout Philippines on Monday night when the MPBL played a doubleheader at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex.

The week before, Mitra told the Sports on Air Weekly podcast that the partnership somehow did not sit well with his agency because it caught them by surprise and he thought it could further entice game-fixing since the MPBL is now directly working with a sports betting firm. Thus, GAB handed the memo to the MPBL.

[Related Story: GAB asks MPBL to explain OKBet partnership]

According to Duremdes, GAB just told them that OKBet must only need to secure a clearance from the ASC for the partnership to continue.

"Ang sinasabi lang nila, mag-secure lang [ng clearance] sa ASC ang OKBet," he further said.

Duremdes and OKBet chief legal and compliance officer Victoria Gilera assured during a press conference on June 12 that they will join forces in battling game-fixing within the league's midst.

[Related Story: OKBet to help MPBL combat game-fixing amid season-long partnership]

Meanwhile, Duremdes later said that the MPBL and GAB remain on good terms despite the concerns raised following the league's partnership with OKBet.

"That's one of the reasons na nandyan ang GAB: to guide the pro leagues sa Pilipinas, hindi lang basketball. It will be for the betterment of Philippine sports pag nandyan lagi ang GAB," he further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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