Gambling laws in the Philippines

Gambling at the Philippines.

Last updated on April 30th, 2022 at 10:40 pm

It is not only Las Vegas that is famous for developing casinos. The Philippines and its capital, Manila, are becoming a real hub in Asia.

Filipinos have been called born gamblers. La Salle University economics professors Marvin Castell and Joel Tanchuko note that Filipinos love gambling from the humblest neighborhoods to the richest villages in their research.

The rapid development of gambling in the Philippines has led to the country already being compared to Macao and Singapore. Some experts believe that the Philippines could become the center of Asian gambling.

Developing gambling in the Philippines

Let’s look at the history of gambling in the Philippines, regulated by the law since 1976. Previously, according to the gambling laws in the Philippines, casino games were illegal. Unlicensed casinos and underground betting companies opened all over the country.

List of the laws:

  • Executive Order No. 13
  • House Bill 8910
  • Republic Act No. 10927
  • Republic Act No. 9287
  • Republic Act No. 7922
  • PD No. 1067-A
  • PD No. 1602
  • PD No. 1869

In 1977, the Philippine Entertainment and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) opened the first floating casino, The Manila Bay Casino. The casino operated on three decks of the MS Philippine Tourist liner off the coast of Manila Bay. But after a fire on the ship, PAGCOR shifted its operations focus. In 1979, the first land-based casino opened in the Philippine Village Hotel.

We can say that types of gambling in the Philippines depend on their regulator. Today’s Manila gambling occurs mainly in hotel-casinos and integrated resorts located in Entertainment City and Newport City. Players have hundreds of games to choose from, from roulette to poker. The luxury hotel is a nice addition. Manila is not stingy with investments in casinos: about $2.5 billion were invested in one of the oldest institutions – the Filipino Pavilion.

The modern gambling industry in the Philippines is actively growing, and the country hopes to become a major player at the regional and even global levels. The Philippines is attracting players because of its geographical location, and it was the reason why China wants to stop online gambling in the Philippines.

Asian players are happy to see more and more online casinos among their registered users. For instance, the Philippines can play at Joy Casino or Golden Star or choose the casino with free spins. At the same time, more and more Asian countries are trying to compete for market share in this region. In addition, the decline of casino games in Macao due to the restrictions of the Chinese government has become beneficial for the Philippines. Do not forget to play Asian slot machines online.

Two gambling zones in the Philippines

Types of gambling in the philippines.

Most of the modern gambling market in the Philippines is regulated by PAGCOR. PAGCOR controls a substantial percentage of offline casinos, betting and online gaming in Manila. At the same time, PAGCOR’s authority does not extend to franchises and the area of management of other charges.

Another regulatory body in the Philippines is the Charity Lottery Bureau (PCSO). The PCSO organizes and conducts lotteries to raise money for health and welfare. The Philippines also has a Horse Racing Regulatory Commission and a Gaming and Entertainment Board.

A separate zone for the country’s games is the province of the Philippines, Cagayan. It is a special economic zone, which is partly autonomous. Most tourists can play in Cagayan, and the operators are issued licenses, which work only in this area. The same PAGCOR controls gambling in Cagayan.

However, more than 20 casinos are located in Manila. They are mostly concentrated in the Paranaque Airport area of Manila Bay. Most casinos are owned by PAGCOR and operate under the Casino Filipino brand. Private casinos operate under license from the same regulator.

Gambling revenue and coronavirus

PAGCOR was able to close 2020 with total revenue of $624 million, the lowest in seven years. The previous year, PAGCOR’s revenue was down 60.41%: the corporation’s total revenue in 2019 was $1.57 billion. Profits at casinos that PAGCOR does not operate also declined to $239.7 million. Profits at Filipino offshore gambling operators were less affected. Revenue POGO (Chinese casinos in the Philippines) fell by 18% – to $ 96.9 million. You can compare it with gambling in Canada and Ontario.

All this is due to restrictions that have been imposed because of the pandemic coronavirus COVID-19. Land-based casinos had to stop operations during the quarantine but still fulfill their financial obligations.

The crisis has slowed down large-scale projects, such as opening one of Cebu’s most prestigious Emerald Resort and Casino. The resort’s casino will feature more than 1,000 slot machines. The opening of the new casino has been pushed back to the first quarter of 2022.

Despite the problems, gambling in the Philippines is recovering. The casinos market is expected to grow by 20% in the coming years. According to Business News Asia, Manila and Cebu could compete with Macao or Singapore to attract players.


What is illegal gambling in the Philippines?

Citizens can go to one of the Cagayan or Manila Bay to play at a land-based casino and find where to make a bet. If you are more interested in online casinos, you should go to the main page of and find a website where you will play.

What deposit methods are used for online gambling in the Philippines?

Players can use Visa and MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Wire Transfers and cryptocurrencies. We also have to say that deposit methods depend on the casino. Besides, you need to know that bets in online casinos make in USD or euro. It doesn’t matter what currency you use. It is exchanged at the rate.

How to use Ethereum for online gambling in the Philippines?

You need to find a casino that accepts Ethereum. You will find all information about payment methods at the bottom of the casino’s website.