The act of gambling has become a widespread form of entertainment all thanks to the internet. Players in countries across the globe find it much easier to gamble online and have access to many different platforms. The same holds true for Filipino players, but is gambling legal in the country?
The answer is yes. Gambling in the Philippines is legal as long as it’s both licensed and regulated. PAGCOR licences and regulates land-based and online casinos. It also owns around 46 casinos scattered across the islands. However, the laws surrounding online gambling differ slightly from land-based gambling.
Filipino-based sportsbooks and online casinos are currently banned from offering their services to Filipino players. However, online gambling laws focus on the casino operator, not the players. Players can use offshore casino sites to gamble. However, the casino site must be licensed and regulated by its local authority.
There are five regulatory bodies when it comes to licensing in the Philippines. The Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is the governmental licensing authority. One of the licensing bodies is the First Cagayan Leisure And Resort Corporation. Two others are the Philippine Racing Commission and the Games And Amusements Board. The last one is the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
When cryptos started to become popular, many countries adopted this digital currency. Many countries actively embraced this new currency. The Philippines is one of the frontrunner Asian countries to embrace cryptocurrencies into its market. It was in 2017 that the popularity of cryptos boomed in the Philippines. The value of Bitcoin skyrocketed from $1,000 to $19,000 in just a few months.
A guideline for crypto exchanges, Circular No. 944, was issued by the Bangko Sentral ag Pilipinas (BSP). This indicates the Filipino central bank accepts cryptos as a method of payment. In 2018, a significant Bitcoin event was hosted by Manila. This event was a sign to show the acceptance the country had for cryptos. The country focused on Bitcoin as the leading crypto for the Filipino market.
When it comes to crypto gambling, there are no laws banning online gambling platforms from supporting crypto. The Filipino government doesn’t formally regulate the use of crypto in gambling sites, but it also isn’t banned. As long as the casino site you use is licensed and regulated, with a trusted reputation, you’re safe to gamble using crypto at any online casino supporting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Laws regarding gambling activities and regulating those activities were only established in 1975. Before that, gambling was unregulated and often synonymous with corruption and negligence. In 1975, Decree No.1067-a was signed by President Ferdinand Marcos. This decree founded the PAGCOR, which regulates gambling establishments and offers clear rules on which forms of gambling are legal.
Decree No.1602 was passed three years later to ensure any violations of the gambling laws were penalised. An amendment to this decree was the Republic Act (No.9287). This law increased the penalties for violation of number games and the illegal games could result in prison time between 30 days and 20 years.
The Presidential Decree (No.1869), passed in 1983, also further outlined the corporate powers and specific gambling guidelines of PAGCOR. These guidelines were to be viewed as the baseline for regulating and licensing gambling establishments.
In 2017, Executive Order (No.13) was passed. This law further fought against illegal gambling and was added to later the year with Republic Act No. 10927 to include an anti-money laundering act. It’s also the law where Section three declares residents can gamble using Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) but that Filipino-based online casinos can’t offer services to residents.
The Philippines remains a popular gambling hub, with many POGOs offering their services to Filipino players. However, while gambling is as popular as ever, the government seems to be shifting their view on online gambling. This is due to some illegal Chinese POGOs abusing and victimising their Chinese workers. This discovery resulted in a nationwide crackdown, with over 214 illegal Chinese gambling operations closed down.
Further, the Senate Majority Leader believes online gambling to be a problem for the country and is moving to ban it altogether. This suggested ban is to try and stop POGO-related crimes and kidnappings. However, many believe this is an extreme solution. The overall consensus is that not all POGOs should be penalised for the actions of a few.
While many online casino games are popular in the country of Philippines, arguably the most popular casino game for Filipino players is poker. Many online poker games and rooms, both the standard game and the live dealer versions, are rising in popularity. You can easily find online poker tournaments for Casino Hold’em and other poker variants. You can also find video poker variations if you want to switch it up while playing.
Besides poker, other table games aren’t far behind. Classics such as baccarat, blackjack and roulette remain favourites in the igaming scene. The live dealer versions of these games allow players to experience the thrill of a land-based casino without needing to visit an actual casino. As such, it’s quickly become a favourite and many online players enjoy live dealer games. Due to its popularity, different variations of these games started popping up, as well as live game shows.
However, the power of slots is not to be underestimated. Slot games offer various styles, game mechanics, bonus features and themes. You can even find crypto-exclusive slots, as slots are a favourite to play using cryptocurrencies. Famous brands and series also collaborated with providers to offer branded games, with titles like Game of Thrones and Jurassic Park.
Filipino players can also claim different bonuses at crypto online casinos in the Philippines. These bonuses range from welcome bonuses to reload bonuses. The types of bonuses available are generally free spins, matched deposits, and no-deposit bonuses.
The bonus terms are also important when claiming any bonus. These terms will set the conditions you need to fulfil to withdraw any winnings. It includes wagering requirements, payment terms, and more. If you’re a crypto player looking for the perfect Philippines-based online casino, we suggest browsing their bonuses before you start playing to see what promotions you can claim.