After E-sabong and basketball, and possibly volleyball and tennis, Esports is the Philippines’ most popular sport and betting sport.
While most gamblers and competitive game enthusiasts may consider China and Korea to be the world’s premier Esports powerhouses, the sport is extremely popular on the islands.
In such a way that a Philippine legislator has proposed officially declaring October as “Esports Month.”
The country already recognize October 23 as World Esports Day, and this pilot project, according to the proposal, would expand that designation in a number of significant ways.
Obviously, given that Esports is already a popular activity in the islands for both fans and players (and sports bookmakers ), it may appear silly – or, at the very least, odd – that the pastime would require a whole month of extra media attention at the national level.
However, the purpose of House Bill 01285, is not to promote Esports in general. It is instead Esports is intended to bring the alternative sport up to regulatory compliance as an “official” endeavor.
Nobody on the global stage, for example, considers the Philippine Basketball Association to be an illegitimate league. It is well-known all over the world, and you can find PBA basketball betting odds at sportsbooks in every country.
The goal is to give Philippine Esports international power or influence.
However, it is possible that the legislation does not recognize Esports. Aside from designating October as the “official” month for eSports in the Philippines, the proposed law promotes cross-regulatory cooperation.
According to the synopsis on Casino.org:
“Should the legislation advance, it would facilitate the collaboration of different government entities, such as the Philippine Information Agency and the National Academy of Sports, with the private sector. Among the goals would be creating and distributing information related to eSports events and competitions. They would also focus on education about the activity.”
Of course, bill sponsor Rep. Christopher de Venecia has bigger goals in mind.
For one thing, having a refined and focused governmental approach to recognizing Esports as a real sport would go a long way toward others acknowledging the pastime for what it is, rather than a “habit” or “distraction.” Some even see Esports as explicitly designed to promote gambling, similar to the game of jai alai. Jai alai was literally created (at least in the West) as a betting sport. In other words, without gambling, there would be no fan or player interest in jai alai, and many spectators see eSports and eSports betting in the same way.
However, the larger goal is to have Philippine Esports teams and leagues recognized in larger international Esports industries.
“Filipino eSports teams sometimes struggle to participate in international tournaments. On many occasions, players face rejection of their travel documents and visas. This is because they are not recognized as legitimate representatives of the Philippines in eSports.”
With this legislation, de Venecia believes industry insiders will
“work with the Department of Foreign Affairs to improve the treatment of eSports athletes when competing in international tournaments…[and that] the Department of Labor and Employment [will] develop a more efficient counter-attack that will protect the teams’ owners and the players themselves.”
The global Esports betting industry is expected to generate $2 billion in revenue by 2022. (i.e. pretax GGR). As a result, Philippine sportsbooks such as OKBet, as well as those we recommend, would benefit from the Philippines taking Esports more seriously at the governmental and international competitive levels.
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