While casino and sports betting operations based in the Philippines are forbidden from accepting local Filipino customers, there are no restrictions for overseas sites to do so. The legislation is primarily focused on gambling operators rather than players, giving people a lot of freedom to choose what and how they want to play. Playing from a fully regulated market is the most ideal situation, however, it is still important that there are certain risks inherent with depositing and playing online. Illegitimate or simply inferior operations are still able to occasionally get through the cracks, even if it is just for a limited amount of time. Taking the time to ask yourself a few questions before registration is a good start to thinking about the situation critically.
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Filipino gambling legislation first came into being in 1975 when the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) was formed. The corporation was created with the authority to regulate the gambling industry within the country while being able to distribute gambling licenses to both local and foreign operations. PAGCOR is so involved in the runnings of the industry that it even owns dozens of casinos across the nation. This also makes the Philippines unique in Asia by actually being able to handle licensing.
All manner of gambling-related activities are now legal and regulated by the Gaming Corporation from lotteries to cockfighting, but there are still restrictions to what activities locals can engage in. Local operations are forbidden from offering their services to locals, meaning that players will instead need to play at online casinos based overseas. In addition to this, a 20% tax is incurred on any winnings of PhP 10,000 or more, while winnings or a lower value will still be subject to the standard income tax. This clearly shows that the attitude is fairly relaxed when it comes to gambling, but more so for tourists than locals.
Localization options are not quite as great for Filipino people as it may first appear. As local operations are not legally allowed to cater to locals, players will instead need to look at alternatives online. This engenders people to look for sites operating from abroad and with therefore a decreased likelihood in localization options. English is the default language across the industry, which is something most Filipinos will be comfortable enough with. Southeast Asian events and payment options may not be as widely represented as you would like and it is, therefore, better to look for the larger casinos more equipped to handle a geographically diverse customer base. Loyalty programs are also a great alternative to standard promotional material and are usually open to a wider range of players.
There are a decent number of choices when it comes to looking for an online casino that supports Philippine peso payments. This is largely thanks to the legislation in place, as unregulated or restricted territories tend not to incentives local currency support. The large population of the country also makes it more appealing for sites to cater to that demographic as much as possible. However, the majority of sites will most likely ask you to deposit using euros or US dollars, as they are unable to support pesos. In such instances, it may be worth looking at alternative payment methods like e-wallets and cryptocurrencies that generally end up being less costly in the long run when making international transactions online.
The Filipino gambling authority PAGCOR alone operates around 50 land-based casinos across the nation. When you add this to independent operations, betting shops, bars with machines and all of the websites available, you can start to get a picture of just how big the industry is in the Philippines. The revenues generated from tourism and taxation have been a big boon to the country’s economy and it, therefore, looks to remain on the same course for the foreseeable future. It will be interesting to see whether local operations will eventually be authorized to cater to locals, but right now players already have a lot of choices from international sites and are a lot better off than their neighboring countries when it comes to being able to freely gamble.
A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.
Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.
If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.
The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.
The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.
Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.
The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.
The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.