Expecting rush of pros seeking licenses, GAB eyes online portal
Anticipating a huge swell of professionals applying for licenses next year, Games and Amusements Board (GAB) Chair Baham Mitra said the regulatory body for pro sports will set up an online portal for the growing number of pay-for-play athletes.
“We are now in the process of going fully online in the application of GAB pro licenses as we welcome and embrace more members in the pro sports family,’’ Mitra said on Sunday.
Besides the licenses of pro athletes from the Philippine Basketball Association and local boxers, players from the Premiere Volleyball League and the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines are expected to begin filing for GAB licenses.
That’s apart from the players coming from the Philippine Football League, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3, National Basketball League, Women’s National Basketball League and the increasing population of local mixed martial arts fighters.
The biggest group of pro players that the GAB should accommodate, however, are the ones from esports, whose enormous following makes it the fastest growing sport worldwide.
Esports players are now classified as pros and should avail of licenses from the GAB when they compete locally or overseas.
“We are just clearing some matters with some government agencies such as the Commission on Audit and hopefully we will be fully online next year regarding the application of pro licenses,’’ said Mitra, who bared that a professional league in table tennis is also in the works.
The GAB forged a partnership with the Philippine Sports Commission and the Department of Health in crafting the Joint Administrative Order, a set of guidelines that organizers of professional sports tournaments should strictly adhere to amid the ongoing coronavirus health crisis.
“This year has been more than fruitful for the agency and we have been able to do so much with the help of our stakeholders that have helped push for the resumption of sports to provide livelihood to the pro sports industry,’’ added Mitra.
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