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The Philippines – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
The Philippines consists of over 7,000 islands that make up the archipelago of the entire country. Located in Southeast Asia, it has often been an attractive tourist destination for tourists seeking stunning nature, incredible wildlife and amazing ocean adventures. All of this combined with a large population of over 100 million are all very attractive factors for the gambling industry. In fact, The Philippines has developed itself as a bastion for gambling in the region, while many other countries around it retain a strict anti-gambling stance. The island nation has instead decided to fully regulate gambling, which has naturally attracted a lot of foreign investment into the country.
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.
- Is the casino licensed?
- What is the reputation of the casino?
- Are your preferred payment methods supported?
- Is there a sports betting platform present?
- Is there an attractive welcome offer and other promotional content?
Casino reviews are a great way to find a lot of answers as to the value, legitimacy and relevance of a site to you as a player. That is exactly what we aim for with our casino reviews here at GoodLuckMate. So, be sure to check them out before registering, as you might just find yourself with a better deal.
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.