To facilitate gambling, the country is split up into two distinct geographical regions.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation regulates most of the country, except for the Cagayan-Freeport area, which is managed by the First Cagayan Resort and Leisure Corporation. All gambling activity in the country is supervised by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and First Cagayan Resort and Leisure Corporation. These organizations were established to regulate and control gambling and to promote a safe experience for players in the area. In this section, we will look at the status of legal sports betting in the Philippines as well as the various agencies that regulate the industry.
Is Sports Betting Legal In The Philippines?
Sports betting is legal and popular in the Philippines, though some restrictions may apply. MegaSportsWorld (MSW) is a fully licensed organization that offers a limited form of sports betting. They operate in casinos, local marketplaces across the country, and online.
Is it legal to bet on sports online in the Philippines?
Yes! Residents are free to legally place bets at Philippine legal mobile sportsbooks or, our preference, at licensed and regulated offshore sportsbooks. For players looking to bet online in the Philippines, our online sportsbook reviews page is a great resource.
A Look At The Philippines’ Gambling Laws
Some laws and provisions are not listed here, but this is a basic summary of the key regulations related to gambling, online gambling, and the creation of special economic zones for gambling purposes.
Presidential Decree No.1067-a
This law, signed by President Ferdinand Marcos in 1975, discusses legal gambling in the Philippines and how the revenue will be used to build infrastructure and generate facilities to promote economic development. The development and purpose of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), as well as general corporate powers, are included. This law specifies what types of gambling entertainment are legal, and any domestic gambling that is not listed among the approved venues is expected to be illegal.
No. 1602 Presidential Decree
This order simplified and penalized anyone who violated the Philippines’ illegal gambling laws. Decree 1602 was the nation’s first gambling law, and it was signed into law in 1978. This law has since been amended, but it was originally intended to punish violators with imprisonment.
Republic Act 9287
This act, which was signed into law to amend certain provisions of Decree No. 1602, increased the penalty for illegal number games. It specifies the offenses for anyone caught betting, participating in, maintaining, or operating an illegal numbers game.
Executive Order No. 13
The Executive Order No. 13 was signed into law to strengthen the fight against illegal gambling. The executive order begins by directing the Philippine Police and Bureau of Investigation to step up their efforts to combat illegal gambling. Then it goes on to define illegal gambling as any game scheme involving money or valuables that has not been approved by the appropriate government agency in charge of regulating and enforcing laws. Section 3 of this order classifies online gambling, stating that it is legal for Filipino residents to participate in regulated offshore sites but illegal for domestic operators to offer online gambling to Filipino residents. Signed into law on February 2nd, 2007.
Republic Act 10927
The Republic Act 10927 was enacted to assist in the fight against illegal money laundering schemes. It was passed in 2017 and fills gaps in the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA – 2001) by imposing stricter regulations on gambling operators. The new regulations require casinos to keep casino player records on file for at least 5 years. It also mandates the reporting of any transaction exceeding 500k PHP.
House Bill 8910
HB 8910 was passed in February 2019, but President Duterte has yet to sign it. If passed, the bill would strengthen the authority of the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) over e-sabong betting. While this does not make sabong illegal, the rhetoric allows the GAB to declare e-sabong illegal.
Republic Act 7922
This act, which was signed into law in 1995, established the Cagayan-Freeport economic zone. Defined the operating principles, the establishment of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), and the authority’s powers and functions. CEZA is also subject to the direct control and supervision of the President’s Office.
Who is in charge of sports betting in the Philippines?
Two separate agencies regulate sports betting across the country. The Games and Amusement Board (GAB) is in charge of the majority of the events, including all combat and pay-to-play sports like basketball, soccer, boxing, and baseball, as well as Sabong (cockfighting). The horse racing industry is governed by the Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom), with assistance from the GAB. Both organizations regulate bookmakers in the region and fight illegal betting in their respective communities. Other organizations, such as the Philippine Sports Commission, promote sports among Filipino youth and train athletes for Philippine national teams. While they do not regulate sports, they do have influence over how they are played and the rules that are enforced.
Philippine Regulatory Agencies and Corporations
Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation
(PAGCOR) was established in 1977 and is an entirely owned and controlled government corporation that reports to the President of the Republic of the Philippines. Its primary goal is to regulate, operate, authorize, and license gambling games in order to generate revenue for governmental national development programs and to promote tourism. Aside from the Cagayan-Freeport region, it controls the gambling industry across the country. Visit the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation website for more information.
First Cagayan Resort And Leisure Corporation
The Cagayan-Freeport region operates under its own set of laws and regulators, with the goal of producing a self-sufficient industry that provides employment and income to the community. The main objective of the First Cagayan Resort and Leisure Corporation is to operate and control facilities in the Metropolis of Santa Ana and the neighboring islands in the Province of Cagayan. They also set up and manage the hub’s internet servers, which host websites, gaming software, collection payment systems, and much more. They also keep an eye on all activities related to the licensing and operation of interactive games in their economic zone. For more information, go to the official website of First Cagayan Resort and Leisure Corporation
Philippine Racing Commission
(PHILRACOM) seeks to maintain efficient and impartial racing operations that deal with the sport and gambling. They work to raise awareness, build public trust, and reduce rule violations, all while improving the breed of Filipino horses and preventing illegal horse importation. They direct the industry’s continued expansion in order to secure the development and exploitation of revenue and employment associated with horse racing. This commission has no authority over legal horse race betting in the Philippines conducted at licensed offshore racebooks. Philippine Racing Commission official website: Philippine Racing Commission.
Games And Amusements Board
(GAB), founded in 1951, is an organization that regulates and supervises pay-for-play sports and works to prevent the formation of illegal bookies and other forms of illegal gambling centered on combat games and amusement games. They concentrate on professional events such as boxing, wrestling, arnis, and karate, as well as basketball and Sabong (cockfighting). Their goal is to improve Filipino professional sports through supervision and regulation, as well as to promote character development and self-discipline among athletes. GAB’s official website: Games and Amusements Board
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office
Sweepstakes and lottery games are organized and regulated by the PCSO. They established the first lottery in the Philippines in 1995, which was a huge success, and they’ve now established multiple lottery games. They also invest in welfare-related health care and are the primary government agency in charge of directing how funds are distributed. They are dedicated to continuously improving online lottery logistics and distributing revenue to charity clinics throughout the region. Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s official website: Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office