Casino Gambling Laws in the Philippines

Gambling in the Philippines is governed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), which was established by the government to regulate and license the industry. PAGCOR also distributes the revenue generated by the gambling industry to other government branches.

Over the years, there have been amendments to the gambling laws in the Philippines. These amendments have been made to fine-tune the gambling industry and protect players.

Today, there are brick-and-mortar casinos and poker rooms available throughout the Philippines. While the current president does not support Philippine legal online gambling, the laws relating to this type of gambling do not impose any restrictions.

This page will provide a detailed overview of the gambling laws in the Philippines and how they affect Filipino players and the gambling market in the region.

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What are the gambling laws in the Philippines?

The gambling laws in the Philippines are complex and have evolved over time. However, there are some general principles that govern gambling in the Philippines.

 

Gambling is legal in the Philippines, but only if it is conducted by a licensed operator. PAGCOR is the only entity that can issue licenses to gambling operators in the Philippines.

 

The minimum age for gambling in the Philippines is 21 years old.

 

Certain types of gambling are prohibited in the Philippines, such as cockfighting and illegal numbers games.

 

Gambling operators must comply with a number of regulations, such as anti-money laundering laws.

How do the gambling laws affect Filipino players?

The gambling laws in the Philippines have a significant impact on Filipino players. For example, the fact that only licensed operators can offer gambling services means that Filipino players must be careful to only gamble at reputable casinos and poker rooms.

 

The minimum age requirement for gambling also means that young people in the Philippines are not able to gamble. This is designed to protect young people from the potential harms of gambling.

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How do the gambling laws affect the gambling market in the Philippines?

The gambling laws in the Philippines have had a mixed impact on the gambling market in the country. On the one hand, the regulations have helped to create a safe and regulated gambling environment for Filipino players. On the other hand, the regulations have also made it difficult for new gambling operators to enter the market.

 

Overall, the gambling laws in the Philippines have had a positive impact on the gambling market in the country. The regulations have helped to protect players and create a safe and regulated gambling environment. However, the regulations have also made it difficult for new gambling operators to enter the market.

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Is Gambling Legal in the Philippines?

Gambling is legal in the Philippines when it is licensed and regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). PAGCOR was created in 1975 by President Ferdinand Marcos through Presidential Decree No. 1067-a. The agency’s primary purpose is to promote tourism and fund the building of infrastructure through the regulation of casino in the philippines.

PAGCOR is the only entity that can issue licenses to gambling operators in the Philippines. The agency has a strict set of regulations that gambling operators must comply with, including anti-money laundering laws.

There are a variety of gambling activities that are legal in the Philippines, including:

However, there are also some types of gambling that are illegal in the Philippines, including:

  • Cockfighting
  • Illegal numbers games
  • Street betting

The gambling laws in the Philippines are complex and have evolved over time. However, the general principle is that gambling is legal in the Philippines when it is conducted by a licensed operator and complies with the regulations set forth by PAGCOR.

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A Breakdown of Philippine Gambling Laws

  • Gambling laws in the Philippines were not established until 1975, when President Ferdinand Marcos signed Presidential Decree No. 1067-a. This law defined legal gambling in the Philippines and created the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). The decree specifically lists the forms of gambling entertainment that are legal. Any domestic gambling that is not listed among the approved venues is assumed to be illegal.
  • Three years later, in 1978, Decree No. 1602 was passed, which declared penalties for anyone violating the gambling laws in the Philippines.
  • In 1995, Republic Act (No. 9287) was signed in order to amend certain provisions of Decree (No. 1602). This act increased the penalty for illegal number games. A person caught playing or organizing an illegal game could get 30 days to 20 years imprisonment depending on the charge under this new amendment.
  • In 1983, Presidential Decree (No. 1869) was enacted, which requires the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to be used as a guideline on how to license and regulate gambling organizations. It also lists the corporate powers and operations of PAGCOR as well as any other powers, provisions, and exemptions that pertain to the government agency.
  • The Republic Act (No. 7922) established the Cagayan Freeport economic zone for the Cagayan Valley. This regulation defined the principles of operations and created the Cagayan economic zone authority (CEZA) to promote tourism in the Cagayan providence area.
  • In 2017, the Executive Order (No. 13) was written into law to strengthen the fight against illegal gambling. Section 3 of this order is the classification of online gambling, and it states 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.
  • Republic Act No. 10927 was enacted in 2017 to strengthen Republic Act No. 9160 – The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001. RA 10927 puts tougher regulations and restrictions on big payouts and wagers. It also mandates that all casinos now keep detailed records for 5 years about their customers.
  • House Bill 8910 is a bill that aims to regulate e-sabong and online cockfighting throughout the Philippines. It also enhances several functions of the Games and Amusement Board.

The gambling laws in the Philippines have evolved over time, but the basic principles have remained the same. Gambling is legal in the Philippines when it is conducted by a licensed operator and complies with the regulations set forth by PAGCOR. However, there are some types of gambling that are illegal in the Philippines, such as cockfighting and illegal numbers games Casino Gambling Laws in the Philippines.

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The government of the Philippines is committed to cracking down on illegal gambling, and there are a number of laws and regulations in place to do so. However, the problem of illegal gambling remains a challenge, and the government is constantly working to find new ways to address it.

Casino Gambling Laws in the Philippines

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Philippine Regulatory Agencies

  • Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation –

(PAGCOR) is a 100% government-owned corporation permitted to operate, authorize and license any game of chance and to generate revenue for governmental national development programs.

 

  • First Cagayan Leisure And Resort Corporation –

(FCRLC), Imposes its own set of laws and regulations for their economic region and aims to produce a self-sufficient industry and provide employment and income for the Metropolis of Santa Ana.

 

  • Philippine Racing Commission –

(PHILRACOM), aims to maintain efficient and unbiased operations of horse racing that deals with the sport and gambling, while improving the breed of Philippine horses and preventing illegal importation of sporting horses.

 

  • Games And Amusements Board –

(GAB) is the organization that regulates and supervises play for pay sports and strives to prevent the formation of illegal bookies and other illegal gambling centered around combat sport games and amusement games.

 

  • Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office –

(PCSO), the principal government agency that organizes and regulates sweepstakes and lottery games while also engaging in welfare-related health investments.

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FAQs About Casino Gambling Laws in the Philippines

The legal gambling age in the Philippines is 21 years old for participation in domestic gambling entertainment. However, the legal gambling age is 18 years old for residents in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone.

Domestic brick-and-mortar gambling and offshore online gambling are both permitted in the Philippines. However, it is illegal for Filipino residents to participate in online gambling that is hosted by a local operator.

The current President of the Philippines would like to see all online gambling outlawed for Filipino residents. He believes that it is a problem running rampant across the islands and thus refuses to allow local casinos to offer their online services to Filipino residents.

The penalty for illegal gambling in the Philippines can be anywhere from 30 days to 20 years imprisonment, depending on the offense. The specific penalties are as follows:

 

  • 30-90 days for a person caught in the act of illegal gambling participating as a bettor.
  • 6-8 years for personal or staff of an illegal number game.
  • 10-12 years for a coordinator of an illegal numbers game.
  • 12-14 years for a manager, maintainer or operator.
  • 14-16 years for a financier or capitalist.
  • 16-20 years for a protector or coddler.

Yes, there are a few other things you should know about gambling laws in the Philippines:

 

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is the government agency that regulates gambling in the Philippines.

PAGCOR has a strict set of regulations that gambling operators must comply with.

The government of the Philippines is committed to cracking down on illegal gambling, and there are a number of laws and regulations in place to do so.

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