The Filipino Games and Amusement Board (GAB) is currently looking to promote amateur sports by lowering licensing fees for smaller sports organizations.
GAB Chairman Abraham Mitra has been serving the board since 2016 and has recently acknowledged the long-standing issue between professional and amateur sports, licensing fees.
Mitra told media sources that most sports leagues have the same argument; they are small and do not have a budget. He also said that most smaller sports organizations feel like the fees are too costly to their bottom-line. Mitra also stated that the GAB is not trying to force any smaller organization into becoming a professional sport; however, the GAB is mandated to oversee the Philippines’ professional sports industry.
With more attention drawn to the subject, the GAB released a resolution with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) defining terms to settle the difference between professional and amateur sports. The resolution establishes professional sports as an individual or team sport where athletes get paid money or other forms of compensation as salary or prizes.
When professional sports leagues are placed under the GAB supervision, it entails abiding by the rules of the regulatory agency. This supervision can sometimes lead to additional expenses as players or leagues can be required to possess additional licenses issued by the GAB.
The GAB has licensed the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) since 1974, when the regulatory agency was asked to expand its regulation over professional sports throughout the country. Today a license from the GAB for each player costs the league ₱4,500.
GAB Chairman Mitra said the Games and Amusement Board has been very lenient when it comes to licensing fees for new professional sports. The GAB’s main objective is to make sure the leagues are running correctly and that everything is fair for the players and the owners.
Some of the leagues that recently came under the GAB’s supervision is the Philippine Super Liga (PSL), Premier Volleyball League (PVL), and the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).