The Philippines is now the most popular destination in the whole of Southeast Asia for gambling, and the country’s government is pushing an incredibly high sum of money into its hotel and casino industry. However even though the Philippines is now highly accepting of bricks-and-mortar casinos, it is a lot tougher on online gambling.
Even though the Filipino government wants to crack down on those gambling online. In some of the islands, online gambling is only available to foreigners. Filipinos who live in the main part of the country are banned from gambling online in their own homes and have to instead go to one of the many e-Game stations to place their bets.
All of these strict laws and regulations have been put in place by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) which was set up under President Ferdinand Marcos in 1976. This state-owned organisation had total control over the country’s gambling, and in 2007 it was contracted to have further control until at least 2032. The only area that the PAGCOR doesn’t control is Cagayan – this tourist destination benefits from being a Special Economic Zone and Freeport.
So, What Exactly Do Filipinos Bet On?
Traditionally, Sabong (cock fighting) has always been an extremely popular sport, and there are now lots of legal and illegal fights taking place regularly around the country.
There are some dedicated websites that have been licensed in Cagayan’s Special Economic Zone and Freeport where gamblers can place their bets.
Asian leagues are another gambling option that proves to be a favourite of gamblers, including boxing, basketball and Sepak Takraw, which is a form of volleyball.
International sports are also growing in popularity, and the country is seeing more and more people betting on foreign games and matches. In fact, the PAGCOR is starting to be a lot more open to online gambling on international sports and is now ensuring that it the games and matches are available in the various e-Game stations around the country.
Surprisingly, bingo is also very big in the country and can be played in malls, community centres, and even in restaurants up and down the country. Some Philippine airlines also offer it on their flights. Since the late 1990s, online bingo games have proven to be extremely popular, even though many people still prefer to play it in person.
What’s Next For Gambling In The Philippines?
Well, as PAGCOR’s dominance of the gambling industry is extremely favourable for the government, there isn’t much chance that that will change anytime soon, especially as the organisation has recently enjoyed record revenues.
But regardless of this, there could be an exciting future ahead. Many think that there will be a boom in the casino hotel industry and that gambling in person could become more popular than online gambling again. And as all that is likely to bring in high numbers of tourists, the Philippines gambling boom could go from strength to strength!
You never know; it could even become the next Las Vegas!