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Gambling in Philippines
Gambling is extremely popular in the Philippines. This small country is filled with very large casinos, eGames parlors, Poker Sports Clubs, Instawin terminals and MSW sports betting outlets licensed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). PAGCOR is fully government owned and controlled, and regulates almost all gambling in the country.
There is one exception to the PAGCOR monopoly over gambling in the Philippines, and it is the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport on the northeastern tip of the country. This special area of the country is subject to its own rules, and it gives out separate licenses for gambling halls within its limits. One big difference between Cagayan Freeport and the rest of the Philippines is that the establishments in Cagayan are reserved for hotel guests, thereby excluding most of the Filipino population from attending.
Online Gambling in Philippines
Online gambling is legal all across the country. Both the main region of the Philippines and the Cagayan Freeport offer Internet gambling, but they do so in very different ways. Sites licensed by and hosted in the Cagayan region are only open to use by foreign players.
This licensing makes the Philippines the only country in Asia to license online casinos!
Licenses issued there cover the operation of online casino, sports books, fixed odds, betting exchange, lottery, bingo and other interactive gaming but strictly for offshore players and only on offshore sporting events. There are over 70 gambling operators registered there. Often these are large, international gambling websites, much like those hosted in other parts of the world.
In the rest of the Philippines, online gambling is run by PAGCOR but it is unavailable for home play. The country has over 200 e-Games Stations (PEGS), which are in effect Internet casino game parlors, whereby players can play “online”. These outlets also have legal sports betting. PAGCOR granted an exclusive license for online gaming to a single company (Philweb) until 2032, but no development has been reported. Players who want to enjoy an unlimited online experience must therefore use foreign online gambling sites. In its January 2012 decision the Court of Appeals ruled that the applicable Presidential Act does not contain any clause that specifically bans online gaming.