When it comes to gambling, the Philippines is definitely an odd place with some unconventional laws. As far as the law and regulations go, the country is split into two separate regions. One is the larger one in which all gambling is regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, also known as PAGCOR. The second one is the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, which is more commonly known as the Cagayan Freeport. Let’s learn more about them.
What Are the PAGCOR Rules for Gamblers?
Basically, all locals are allowed to play at any approved PAGCOR casinos, as well as online, but only for some limited types of gambling. All Filipinos are free to visit any of the many PAGCOR betting locations in the country and can also freely gamble online at most offshore platforms.
So, as you can see, the gambling laws in the Philippines are definitely odd. In both regions that we have mentioned, it’s completely illegal for any domestic casino to provide online betting to Filipinos. However, providers based offshore that have no connection with the Philippines can freely offer online gambling to the locals.
The reason behind this is because of the specific way in which the law was written. Namely, the citizens of the Philippines are not subjects to the laws that prohibit online gambling – the casinos are. There isn’t any sentence or amendment to the law that prohibits the citizens to place bets online. However, the laws prohibit local casinos from offering online bets.
Therefore, citizens can freely play online as long as the gambling platform has no connections with the Philippines.
Cagayan Freeport Gambling Region
The second region is the Cagayan Freeport and this part of the Philippines is specific because it is not entirely under the PAGCOR gambling monopoly. It this area, there are many independent casinos which are only allowed to offer gambling services to tourists and not to locals.
Cagayan Freeport is also the only jurisdiction responsible for online gambling licensing and it is the only such jurisdiction in all of Asia. Therefore, even though Filipino casinos cannot accept bets from locals, they can still offer their services to the rest of Asia, which is a huge market.
One way in which both local players and tourists in the Philippines are protected in terms of money and prizes has to do with regulations. All game systems have to pass various tests and approvals. The casino in question needs to have an adequate amount of money (cash) at all times to cover all of its players’ balances. The licensing commission is very strict when it comes to these rules and all regulations are enforced properly. Therefore, as long as players use services of legal Philippines online casinos, they will be protected and their winnings will be ensured.
Age Limits for Playing Philippines Online Casinos
According to the law, in order to be able to place bets on domestic or offshore casinos, you need to be at least 21 years old. The government takes this law seriously in order to tackle the problem of underage gambling which was a problem before. The legal consequences are serious, so you shouldn’t disregard it. Another thing that is important to mention is that even though an offshore gambling platform allows players to register at age 18, Filipinos are not allowed to do that. Filipino players still need to wait three more years before they can register and place their first bet online.
Legal Online Casinos in the Philippines?
The best way to go about this is to do a quick Google search and find a list of best online casinos that accept Filipino players. However, you need to be careful. Just because an online casino accepts Filipino players, it does not mean that it is legally regulated in the Philippines, or that it offers high-quality and honest services.
In order to evaluate which offshore casino is worth visiting and trusting your money, you will need more information. The best way to get this knowledge is to rely on the information that is provided by the professionals in the industry. They evaluate each casino based on their legal standing, quality, and standard of service, as well as the value they provide to the players.
What Types of Online Games Can be Played?
Filipino people have a good choice when it comes to the casino games that they can play online. All of the most popular online casino games are available, as well as some traditional Filipino table games. The most notable ones are Slots, Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Pai Gow, Sports Betting, and Poker.
Live Casino Games are completely legal as well and are becoming more and more popular like anywhere in the world. Filipino players can also gamble online using their mobile device freely, without any restrictions or special regulations and they can access mobile casinos on any device.
There are three traditional Filipino games that are offered by some casinos, but that is actually illegal, so you should be careful and avoid them.
The first one is Jueteng. This is an illegal numbers game, which is a type of local lottery played around the Philippines. The gross revenue reaches up to $500 million, which means that still a lot of people play it.
The second game that you should stay clear from is Masiao and the third one is called Last Two.
Can Players Gamble Online in Pesos?
Filipino players are allowed to place bets online in Philippine Pesos. However, there aren’t many casinos online who provide these services. In order to place online bets, Filipino players will first need to convert pesos to either USD, GBP, or Euros.
Once they are ready to deposit money or withdraw funds, they are allowed to do it through several payment options. These are no different from the rest of the world, so all payment options are allowed, such as credit and debit cards, e-wallets, as well as cryptocurrencies.