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Gambling Laws in the Philippines

The relevant gambling legislation in the Philippines is composed of several acts, the most important of which are the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, the Presidential Decree No.1869, the Republic Acts 1169, 7922, 9490, 9728, 7953, 8407, 9487 and the Executive Order No.13. The Revised Penal Code of the country makes illegal all forms of land-based and online gambling in the Philippines apart from lotteries, while the other legal acts specify exceptions from this prohibition mainly referring to offshore gambling and the special economic zones.

Exempted from the prohibition are all the games that are regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). PAGCOR is a state-owned corporation established through the Presidential Decree 1869 from 1983 amended with the Executive Order 13 from 2017. The games that are exempt from the prohibition include casino games, poker, sports betting, lotto, and bingo games.  

The Philippine Racing Commission regulates the horse racing in the country, the Games and Amusement Board deals with the betting sector while lotto games are supervised and organized by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

According to the acts comprising the Philippine gambling laws, licenses for providing any of the gambling games permitted can be obtained by mainly by PAGCOR. However, with the establishment of three special economic zones within the Philippines, the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Zone Authority (APECO) and the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) were also established as separate licensing authorities mainly responsible for offshore online gambling operators.

Is Online Gambling Legal in the Philippines?

Yes. It is not legal for Filipino citizens to participate in gambling activities within the country. However, there are exceptions from the general prohibitions regarding games regulated by PAGCOR for offshore companies.

Online Casinos in the Philippines

The only online casinos in the Philippines are those of companies licensed to offer online casino games outside the country, as online gambling for Filipino citizens in domestic websites is in general prohibited. But PAGCOR provides detailed manuals for acquiring Filipino online casino licenses for companies interested in offering casino games on the Asian market and within the special economic zones.

Online Poker in the Philippines

The only online poker sites in the Philippines are those of companies licensed to offer online poker outside the country. Although there are no specific Filipino online poker laws, the general regulations apply and offering online poker to Filipino citizens is considered to be illegal. However, for companies interested in offering poker games on the Asian market and within the special zones, PAGCOR provides detailed manuals for acquiring Filipino online poker licenses.

Online Lottery in the Philippines

The PCSO is the state licensed provider for all sorts of lotto games in the country including the online lottery in the Philippines. Some of their most popular lotto games offered for Filipino lotto fans include Grand Lotto, Super Lotto 6/49 and Mega Lotto 6/45. Varieties of scratch games such as Scratch It Tickets or KASCASH Ticket are also a regular part of their offer.

Online Bingo in the Philippines

Although lotto has an established tradition in the Filipino public, there are no domestic online bingo sites in Philippines. There are no specific Filipino online bingo laws, but the general prohibition on online gambling for Filipino citizens holds for this game too. However, for companies interested in offering e-bingo games on the Asian market and within the special zones, PAGCOR provides detailed manuals for acquiring Filipino online bingo licenses.

Online Sports Betting in the Philippines

While the Philippine Racing Commission regulates horse racing in the country, the Games and Amusement Board handles the betting aspects involved. Offshore betting operators can apply for online sports betting license in the Philippines at the Games and Amusement Board. For local betting fans, there are no domestic online sportsbook sites, although Filipinos can bet on international websites.

Online DFS in the Philippines

Online DFS sites in the Philippines are not legally regulated. There is an ongoing debate on the status of this type of game, but considering the legality of online sports betting in the country, at least for foreign citizens, it is very probable that Daily Fantasy Sports would soon receive legal status in the Philippines.