In keeping with tradition, the Philippines has long enjoyed a strong gambling tradition. The Philippines is one of the best gambling destinations in the world, with more than 20 casinos available. Like other countries with long-standing gambling histories, the Philippine government cracked down hard on the proliferation of gambling in the country. However, since the restoration of democracy in the Philippines, the government has allowed limited gambling and opened up the industry again somewhat.
The Philippine government has approved a set of Philippine Casinos that operates within legal constraints. The Philippine Casino Operators Association or PCOA manages all casinos under the PCNA or Professional and Amateur Casinos Act of 1992, which regulates all aspects of the operation of Philippine Casinos including their gambling licenses. The Filipino Government has put a minimum gambling age of eighteen years for all residents and this age only applies to casino operators who do not operate more than twelve out of twenty one gambling tables. This minimum gambling age has been a long standing rule in Philippine Casinos and has assisted in reducing instances of underage gambling in the Philippines. The law also prohibits players from wagering any funds from bank accounts, unless such funds are used for gaming. The lack of clarity over what constitutes gambling in the Philippines has caused a problem with the U.S. based casinos in the Philippines and the U.S. itself.
Gambling in the Philippines can be characterized as either legal, illegal or a combination of both. Many areas in the Philippines are illegal for gambling because of the high taxes, violence and violation of the rights of individuals. Nonetheless, most of the gambling takes place in areas where many of these problems do not present.
There is a great increase of online casinos in the Philippines that cater to the needs of the international community. In spite of this increased competition, many Philippine internet gambling sites still offer the same services and benefits that have been made available to offshore gambling sites for over thirty years. As long as you stay within the legal framework in the Philippines, you will not run into any problems. In fact, most legal gambling sites offer live support 24 hours a day through email, live chat and phone. In addition, there are several associations, organizations, companies and countries throughout the world that have formed an organization to promote online gambling in the Philippines.
The most recent development regarding the government’s efforts to curb illegal gambling in the Philippines came in the form of an executive order signed by the President. The order, entitled The Prevention of Disorders relating to Internet gambling was published. Among its provisions are provisions that prohibit online gambling; prohibit the creation and access to gambling software by minors; prohibit the creation or reproduction of gambling logos or images; and require the production of testimonials from past and present gambling activity operators and members. In short, the order prohibits activities that support illegal gambling in the Philippines.
Although the presidential decree did not cover all gambling activities, it did regulate all gambling activities in the country. All licensed gambling establishments and commercial service providers are now required to register with the Department of Justice. This includes all casino operators, all poker houses and all racetrack gambling facilities. The three establishments that were specifically covered by the presidential decree are government casinos, all racetrack gambling facilities and all card gaming establishments. The full text of the presidential decree can be found at Gambling in the Philippines – An Executive Delegation’s Study Guide.