Online Casino Philippines
The Republic of the Philippines is one of the few countries in Asia where gambling is not only welcomed, but also properly regulated. So, if you are into having fun at an online casino Philippines, no worries, because the majority of them available from the country are licensed and secure. On this page, you will find a list of best online casino sites in the Philippines accepting locals and tourists from this location.
While almost the whole Asia blocks gambling, and especially opposes online gambling as an extremely addictive and uncontrollable entertainment, Philippines decided to take a different approach. This country enjoys a constant flow of tourists, and many of them would like to play some casino games, or make sports bets, as part of their vacation entertainment. Making gambling illegal would not mean the activity disappears; rather, more locals and tourists will be engaged into illegal and often dangerous interactions in unregulated environments. Experience of other neighboring communities – like online casinos Malaysia or online casinos Singapore – shows that passionate gamblers will rather involve into risky and illegal punting instead of avoiding the entertainment altogether.
So, the government of the Philippines settled that offline and online betting will be allowed, yet with numerous regulations, restrictions, and limitations. While we will dive into those below in the post, for now, you can check the list of best Philippines online casinos. We at Casinority have chosen sites for this list of online casino in the Philippines by aspects of safety, legitimacy, and user experience. No need to waste your time on research, choose platforms you like best from list of online gambling companies in the Philippines, grab bonus, and play!
Best Philippines Online Casinos
History of Gambling in Philippines
Little is actually known about gambling in the Republic of the Philippines before late 20th century, mostly because few people cared about documenting this information. However, we know that there are several old and extremely popular games that were enjoyed by locals long before casino games as we know them today were introduced. These local games include luksung baka, patintero, piko, and tumbang preso, which are more popular among the youth.
One of the old table board games enjoyed by the locals is Sungka, a two-player turn-based strategy board games played with stones, seeds, etc. Before Spanish came and brought European card games, there were other card games popular in the Philippines. Some of them are still played today - for example, pusoy or tong-its. In the majority of cases, these are enjoyed during celebrations and festivals as illegal gambling entertainment, but the bets are almost never money or something valuable. Another widely spread game is mahjong, a tile-based game that initially originated in China.
Talking about sports, the most enjoyed entertainment for Philippines communities at all times was sabong - cock fighting. Filipino men are crazy about this pastime, but lately, online gaming seems to win their hearts even more - to the great delight of the environment protectors and animal rights activists.
If talking about modern gaming, the first important event took part in 1976, when Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, abbreviated as the PAGCOR, was founded by the then president Ferdinand Marcos. This governmental agency controls all online and offline gaming venues, issues licenses, and executes control over the market.
Next considerable change was brought in 1995 by the process of establishing the Cagayan Special Economic Zone. These zones, also owned by the government, were granted the right to provide licensing to the top Philippines online casinos; moreover, they took it a step further. Instead of allowing only sites based abroad to the Filipino market, Cagayan Special Economic Zone agencies granted licenses to legit online casino Philippines located inside the country. This is an important difference, because many countries - for example, Australia - do not limit their citizens from accessing online gambling platforms, but only located abroad. Online casinos Philippines, in contrast, are allowed to offer and advertise their services to local punters - with considerable limitations, but still.
Year 2012 saw fast development of the market, both offline and online, and the government started to consider whether betting of the locals in the offshore land-based venues can be considered illegal. Such entertainment was restricted for some time, but the court failed to find any laws connected to the situation, so eventually, local residents were allowed to legally bet at brick-and-mortar offshore casinos.
Current Situation on Gambling in Philippines
Today, the situation in the Republic of the Philippines may seem difficult and complex to a newbie, but overall, it is positive.
Offline and online gambling Philippines are allowed. Talking about land-based facilities, the majority of them accepts tourists without any limitations, yet locals may not be allowed to bet there. On the other hand, locals enjoy unlimited and legal access to offshore land-based gambling houses, or casinos on cruise ships. Overall, there are plenty of land-based venues, including those in hotels and restaurants.
All offline and Philippines online casinos are not allowed to offer the visitors three games - Last Two, Jueteng and Masiao. This is an official ban by the law, for the reasons that the government considers these games even more addictive than classic casino games. The slots are still the most popular type of entertainment, so players do not feel much limited in enjoying their betting.
Every online casino Philippines is open for all visitors, be it local resident or tourist. Those accessing the site from the Republic and indicating mobile phone number and banking methods available in the country are accepted for play. However, as anywhere else, at online casino in the Philippines, be it native or based abroad, there are restricted jurisdictions, or even restricted access to games by certain providers - for example, Microgaming online casinos. So, some players may still not qualify for real money betting at these platforms. In this case, visiting a brick-and-mortar facility is a better idea.
Generally, it has to be said that the regulations are pretty tight, so the majority of sites are secure and run well. The only issue may be poor design, because honestly, the Filipino designers’ tastes are very different from designers working with the majority of international gambling platforms. On the other hand, one can be extremely unlucky to find a fraudulent online betting website, because, as it has already been said, they are mainly well-regulated.
Laws for Gambling in Philippines
There are, roughly, three parts of the gambling law in the Philippines. The first part is about local citizens, and it states that no local resident can be subject of the law banning online gambling at offshore facilities. In other words, natives are allowed to make bets wherever they want, until the platform is online. Many online platforms do not accept locals, or rather, they do not advertise their services to locals, but overall, online punting is allowed.
Land-based facilities may accept or not accept locals, depending on the location of the facility (remember the Cagayan Special Economic Zone), the license, and other factors. However, offshore facilities do accept locals.
The second part of the law is about operators, and they follow a totally different set of rules. Land-based venues all have to acquire a corresponding license. Online platforms, whether they are located in the Philippines or not, are obliged to be issued a license by the PAGCOR. The PAGCOR, on the other hand, enjoys a full monopoly in both offline and Internet market.
The third part of the law states that tourists are allowed to gamble wherever they want. The most important legal assumptions on the issue of gambling are Republic Act No. 9287, which indicates punishments for illegal gambling activities, like illegal online gambling in the Philippines, both providing services, and playing games.
Regulatory Authorities in Philippines
The main regulatory agency is the PAGCOR, or Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation. They are the monopolist in the market, they issue licenses and review all existing licenses in the niche. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation operates its own venues, VIP-clubs for slots players, etc. next, it monitors all privately owned companies providing services in this industry. Besides actually casinos, there are other gambling activities popular, including sweepstake, lotteries, horse race betting, and street games. There are also illegal games, for example, number game called jueteng, a form of lottery, introduced by the Chinese entrepreneurs. So, it becomes clear that the PAGCOR has lots of work to do.
Another regulating body, or rather territory, is Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, called simply Cagayan Freeport. In these territories, there are many independent privately owned casinos that enjoy less pressure from the PAGCOR, and are allowed to offer their services to all tourists. Moreover, the Cagayan Special Economic Zone can grant its own license to online gaming platforms. The license is hard to get, and usually it does not allow to accept wagers from locals, but in the meantime, it provides legal access to markets in other Asian countries, which is priceless, because the Cagayan Freeport is literally the only legitimate body in Asia to do so.
Taxation Laws on Gambling in Philippines
While all gaming businesses are obliged to pay quite considerable taxes in the Republic of the Philippines, and in addition to taxes, they have to renew their licenses annually for another considerable sum, there is good news for punters.
No punter has to pay taxes on winnings, be it an online gaming venue or a land-based facility. It also does not matter whether the winner is local or a tourist. Moreover, there is no upper limit for winnings, and even huge jackpots are not subject to tax - whatever you win, big or small, you do not pay taxes at all.
This situation is extremely positive for the punters, and many dream of the same condition in other countries; however, punters not paying taxes is possible only if the gaming market is tightly and strictly regulated, and all businesses in the niche pay taxes on a regular basis. This is, generally, the main reason why illegal street games and different traditional games are often forbidden in Philippines - to prevent money flows to illegal sources that would not pay taxes to the government.
Another reason to keep the punters tax-free is the effort of the government to keep the gambling as entertainment transparent on the part of the players. The more taxes the players are forced to pay on their winnings - keeping in mind that they actually already risk their money, and if they win, it means they have already lost numerous times before - so the more tax the player has to pay, the less they are willing to show their winnings, and the more inclined they are to participate in illegal activities. Tax-free winnings for players is one of those efficient ways of supporting the gambling activity legal and transparent.
By the way, the gambling age in the Republic is minimum 21 years old, meaning the person is more mature and critical about their activities and entertainment.
Land Based Casinos in Philippines
Philippines are abundant in terms of land based facilities - currently, there are over 70 legal brick-and-mortar facilities suited to every fancy, from full-fledged casino houses to smaller bars and slots lounges at restaurants and hotels. There are also numerous cruise ships circulating all along the shore, offering their own literally offshore gambling houses accepting all types of visitors.
However, let’s discuss specifically land based houses located on the territory of the Republic. First and foremost, the most luxurious resorts offer the best services and the widest variety of games. In case you would like to know where to gamble and enjoy the true festive atmosphere of a real brick-and-mortar gambling house, check these facilities out.
This resort is one of the most luxurious and posh out there, providing outstanding services for your vacation. Opened back in 2009, it has more than 300 table games, over 1,5 thousand slots and other gaming machines variations, plus additional entertainments. There are over a dozen of different restaurants and coffee houses, several SPA salons, four hotels by different brands, plus bars and clubs all over the territory. Despite the impressive looks and outstanding infrastructure, the prices are totally adequate at the resort, so tourists can expect nice entertainment for all kinds of budget.
Second biggest and most impressive resort complex in the Republic, it is still comparatively new, opened back in 2015. There are 105 table games, over 700 gaming machines, and six poker tables in an exclusive Poker Room. There is a hotel, obviously, and a SPA. The food service is provided by a restaurant, coffee house, and a bar. In addition to actually betting, guests can visit different tourist attractions, and also participate in events and celebrations.
Opened in 2009, this facility has lived through several considerable changes, including change of hotel brands and casino brands, however, eventually it survived. Today, the casino offers over 120 table games, more than 600 gaming machines, and four poker tables in the Poker Room. You can grab a bite in one of the several restaurants and coffee houses. In addition, the facility enjoys positive feedback about rooms and quality of service, overall.
Banking Options for Gambling in Philippines
Philippines, like most of the Asia, suffer lack of access to numerous payment processing systems that are used massively in the rest of the world. However, several systems are still available, in addition to certain local options. If you make bets in a land based facility, currency exchange is not a problem, as well as using your credit card.
Yet, for those reaching out to online casino games for real money Philippines in the Internet, available payment options can make or break the whole user experience, allowing to pay and cashout winnings effortlessly, or blocking any possibility of sending money to the site. So, before you register a real money account, check out what deposit and withdrawal methods are available to you.
Some of the most popular and at the same time accepted methods are via Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Neteller, and Skrill. In some cases, bank transfer is also possible, especially if you are a local. Other methods include, but are not limited to:
Please make sure you check out all the Terms and Conditions, and see if there are no hidden commissions on currency exchange, or on using a particular payment option.
Also, if you have plans on grabbing a Welcome bonus, please find out what is the minimum deposit that will make you eligible for the promotion. This depends entirely on the casino, and does not depend on the payment system.
Popular Cities in Philippines for Gambling
Metro Manila, the national capital region of the Republic of the Philippines, enjoys the most thriving gambling market in the country. In this region alone, there are around 13 big legal land based gaming houses. Other casinos are scattered all around the country, and the majority of cities only have one per city. Yet, there are still cities where gambling is more popular. Besides Metro Manila, these include:
In case you are travelling around the Republic, visiting those cities can be a new experience in your betting practice.
Facts About Philippines
To give you a better picture of the Republic, we have gathered some fun facts on it:
- the biggest pair of shoes in the world was manufactured in the Philippines
- The Philippines are named after King Philip II of Spain
- out of 10 the biggest shopping malls, globally, three are located here
- the Republic is the world’s biggest exporter of coconuts
- the largest pearl in the world was found here
- number 13 is considered an unlucky number by the locals
- most residents are Christians
- according to the local culture, opening gifts immediately after they were given is rude
- when the country is at war, their flag is hoisted upside down
- the world’s longest snake lives in the Philippines