Philippines Gambling Laws

The Philippines, like the rest of the globe, has its own set of rules that might seem peculiar. While some of these rules are self-explanatory, some portions require more than a brief look to understand.

Even more startling is the fact that most, if not all, of the strange laws, are still in place today, so learning more about them is a good idea if you accidentally breach one. After all, no one is excused for not knowing the law.

As online gambling is increasingly gaining popularity worldwide, and the Philippines is such a desirable and beautiful place to travel, let's take a look at gambling laws to find out if gambling in the Philippines could get you in trouble. So what do gambling laws in the Philippines say about it? We'll find out in this article.

Gambling Laws And Regulations In Philippines

Flag of Philippines and a judge's gavel

There are many prominent casino resorts in the Philippines, most of which are located in Manila. Even one of the world's largest casinos, Resorts World Manila, is based there. In addition, over 70 online casino have been licensed to operate in the country. But there is a twist - licensed operators are not permitted to offer their services to the residents under Philippine laws on gambling.

While it is illegal for Filipinos to play at online casinos located within the country, it is permissible for them to play outside of the country or offshore sites. Legal Philippines online poker sites and sports betting sites are among the legalized offshore gaming sites available to Filipino gamers.

The same restrictions apply to offshore poker sites and sportsbooks; thus, as long as the gambling sites are not based in the Philippines, it is not illegal to gamble for real money there.

Is Online Gambling Legal in the Philippines?

Slots on a laptop and scales

Gambling, both land-based and online, is legal. However, to bet legally online in the Philippines, you must use licensed and regulated offshore gaming sites.

If there was any doubt, the court confirmed in 2012 that the laws about gambling in the Philippines do not ban players from placing bets online. Filipino gamers can legally gamble online at licensed, regulated venues and not situated in the Philippines.

Likewise, accessing and betting on mobile sites is legal as long as licensed and authorized offshore casino operators operate them.

Online Gambling Laws In the Philippines

Philippines flag, casino chips and a 21+ signEven though gambling is allowed in the Philippines, there are severe restrictions that people must follow and be aware of. To gamble in a casino in the Philippines, you must be at least 21 years old. Officials of the government and their direct family (spouses, children, and parents) are not allowed to gamble. Personnel of the Philippine Armed Forces (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), as well as their direct family (spouses, children, and parents), are excluded as well.

Money Laundering Laws

Anti-Money Laundering Council logoWhen the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) suspects a case of money laundering or terrorism financing, casino owners are now required to allow compliance checks. This new act has an impact on gamers as well. Before creating an account, players must now provide more precise information about themselves, and aliases are no longer accepted.

Every time a bet or a transaction of $100,000 or more is made, the AMLC will be notified. Failure to comply with the law results in harsh fines and penalties, as well as the termination of operating licenses.

Who Regulates Online Gambling In The Philippines?

PAGCOR and CEZA logosIn terms of online gambling, the Philippines is a unique market. For gambling reasons, the country is divided into two central regions. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Cagayan Special Economic Zone are the two authorities in charge of casino gambling.

The country's bulk is governed by PAGCOR, which is in charge of gaming. PAGCOR owns and runs all land-based casinos in the country. PAGCOR is dedicated to making the casino experience enjoyable while encouraging responsible gaming.

PAGCOR is responsible for issuing licenses to offline casinos, and since 2016 they also regulated offshore gaming sites. Because of this, Filipino gamblers can access safe and trusted offshore casinos to enjoy gambling online.


Gambling has fulfilled multiple roles in Filipino culture, including meeting people and having fun. While it used to be taboo, its previous reputation of shadiness and crime has been replaced with social activity and an exciting pastime, especially after its legalization.

While there still are specific illegal gambling laws in the Philippines, making it illegal to operate within the country, the situation is much better than in other countries, and Filipino gamblers can enjoy their favorite gambling activities in offshore casinos.

Top 3 licensed online casino in Philippines

Houston O’Keefe

Author: Houston O’Keefe
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Houston is a manager of sales hailing from Cebu City in the Philippines. He is respectful and calm. He is always eager to help others – including strangers, friends, family, staff, and clients. Houston is a social person who loves to work with people from various backgrounds. His mission is to foster a peaceful, productive work environment and build bridges between him, his team, and clients.

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