Illegal Gambling Law In The Philippines

Posted : admin On 09.03.2021

The Republic Act (RA) 9287 is an amendment act to Presidential Decree (PD) 1602 which imposes penalties for individuals taking part in illegal gambling activities. RA 9287 increases penalties set in PD 1602 and establishes the Anti-Illegal Gambling Board (AGB). This act also defines what illegal gambling is and states the kind of games and illegal activities that the AGB will be combating. RA 9287 will also list the functions and powers of the AGB and give them authority and responsibility for implementing the new revisions and laws of this act.

Illegal Number Games

Also, the gambling laws in the Philippines are focused on operators and companies and not individuals. In case certain issues or problems crop up related to these games and the poor understanding of illegal gambling law in the Philippines, the burden is on the operator and not the player. The laws for online gaming in the Philippines are a bit odd. In both regions of the Philippines, it’s illegal for any independent operator to offer online betting to locals. However, offshore providers with no connection to the Philippines may offer their services to the Philippines. Philippine Presidential Decree No. 1602 is a Philippine gambling law enacted by then-President Ferdinand Marcos on June 11 th, 1978.This Presidential Decree implemented harsh penalties for the individuals participating and hosting illegal gaming activities.

Illegal numbers games are defined in this amendment as all forms of illegal gambling such as but not limited to Cockfighting, Jueteng, Masio, Last Two, Jai Alai, and Horse Racing that includes bookie operations and game fixing, Numbers, Bingo, non-government issued Lotteries and any other games of chance. It also states that any game of chance or game of skill that is not in compliance and licensed by their respected regulatory agencies are considered illegal.

Poker, Casino, And Sports Betting – Legal VS Illegal

Most forms of gambling are legal in the Philippines with the exception of unregulated and unlicensed games of chance or skill. However, there are some people who illegally bet on forms of gambling entertainment that are actually not prohibited by law, such as horse racing for example. If you place your bet at a wagering terminal, race track cashier or Philippines legal horse betting site, everything is legal, however, a number of people still choose to bet with illegal bookies for various reasons. RA 9287 strengthens PD 1602 to cover any missed terminology and to impose stricter penalties for parties who choose to participate in un-licensed games of chance or skill.


What States Is Gambling Illegal

Poker is legal and often played in the brick-and-mortar casinos located across the Philippines. Filipinos are also allowed to legally play online from offshore licensed and regulated poker rooms. The only exception is Philippine players are not allowed to play domestic sites based in the Philippines by law. Players don’t have to worry about this issue for the most part as it solely falls on the operators to not accept players from the Philippines. Our guide on Philippine legal online poker sites is a great place to start when looking for the best online sites that accept Filipino players.

Casino Gambling

Casino gambling is legal in various forms throughout the Philippines. There are domestic casinos, casinos that come in on ships, and Philippine legal online casinos all available to Filipino residents. Most of the domestic casinos are in or near the capital of Manila City but you will also run across some in other areas of the country. Heavily regulated by gaming commissions casinos are a significant source of income for the Philippines. Not only does the licenses create revenue but the casinos also help attract tourism. Philippine legal online gambling is available through offshore licensed and regulated websites. Online casinos based or licensed in the Philippines are not allowed to offer their online service to residents of the Philippines. Filipino players are only allowed to play online casino sites from overseas who are licensed and regulated by their gaming commissions.

Sports Betting

Betting on sports is popular across the world and in the Philippines. The domestic sportsbook MegaSportsWorld has locations all over the country that allow residents to bet on international sporting competitions. Filipino players are also allowed to bet online with offshore licensed and regulated sportsbooks. The only catch is that sportsbooks located within the borders of the Philippines are not allowed to accept bets online from Filipino’s. RA 9287 will toughen the penalties for illegal sportsbooks and other illegal gambling activities to make legal options more favorable and profitable. Philippine legal online sports betting is available to players over the age of 21, our guide will help you determine the best site that will accept Filipino registrations.

Anti-Illegal Gambling Board

In section 3 of the amendment, the Anti-Illegal Gambling Board (AGB) is established. The board is to carry out the policies and counter the proliferation of illegal gambling. The personal requirement of the AGB will be complemented by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB). The Anti-Illegal Gambling Board will be comprised of 6 members, one of which will be the chairman of the AGB. The board members will be the chairman or their representatives for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Philippine Racing Commission (PHRACOM), Secretary of the Department of Justice, and the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Powers And Functions Of The Anti-Illegal Gambling Board

Republic Act 9287 established the Anti-Illegal Gambling Board and defined its powers and functions. The board is to act as a central authority responsible for carrying out and apprehending violators of this act. They are also given the power to call upon law enforcement officials to assist in the enforcement of this act. They are also allowed to deputize governors, city mayors, law enforcement agencies, to conduct investigations into illegal number game operations and participants. They are also to function as a complainant if the criminal prosecution of violators. The act also gives them the power to come up with a holistic program and approach to eliminate the existence of illegal gambling within the city walls.

What It All Means

RA 9287 was enacted to strengthen the laws declared in PD 1602. Not only does it re-define what games are often considered illegal, but it toughens the penalties for anyone operating or participating in illegal gambling activities. The Philippines are serious about their gambling revenue and they should be, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is the third leading source of revenue for the country. The President is known to be against gambling and won’t let government officials play or be seen in a casino, but he also knows how important the revenue is for funding school buildings, infrastructure, and other community needs. Tougher Philippine gambling laws should scare more people away from illegal activities and in turn create more revenue for the casinos and the government. Illegal gambling has always plagued the Philippines, expect to see more tough laws come into play until the government sees a dramatic drop in illegal gambling activities.

President Ferdinand Marcos signed Presidential Decree Number 1602 into law on June 11th, 1978. This Decree introduced harsher penalties on individuals and hosts of illegal gambling activities. PD No. 1602 was created out of the need for increased penalties against illegal gaming violations.

Stiffer penalties were believed to be the key to effectively combating illegal gaming activities such as illegal number games and so on. The Philippine government justified the Decree as a law to assist in removing such a social menace that consistently drained the energy and resources of the people. This Decree simplified and clarified violation penalties to be imposed on any person taking part in any form of illegal gambling.

Presidential Decree No. 1602 aided in improving Philippine gambling laws which counteracted illicit games, however, penalties against such were so easily circumvent-able in the past due to the application of a confusing and outdated system of reprimands.

Such penalties held no real authority, therefore, through the creation of Presidential Decree No. 1602 penalties were effectively brought into the modern age to meet current needs, norms, and customs as well as outlined specific games affected by the penalty.

How Does PD No. 1602 Affect Casino Gambling in the Philippines?

Presidential Decree 1602 does not affect lawfully licensed domestic casino gambling but rather targets any and all illicit gaming within the Philippines. This Decree amended criminal provisions such as Articles 195-199 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, Republic Act 3063, PD 483, PD 449, PD 510, and PD 1306 and thus made penalties effective and responsive to the need to curb illegal gaming. Therefore, this Decree promoted legal gambling within casinos, clubs, and turf clubs which assisted in the shift of attitude from illicit underground games to authorized avenues.

The Effect of PD No. 1067-A on Philippine Online Casino Gambling

PD 1602 did not affect online casino gambling due to the fact that the world wide web and its online casino's functions were not yet popularized or even created. Therefore, no language within Presidential Decree 1602 directly addressed online gambling in any way.

Illegal Gambling Law In The Philippines

No deposit bingo sites. Although, some critics could claim that the Decree includes the term “vessel”, which could mean the internet, as a punishable offense if the means of such vessel were used to participate in any of the stated forms of illegal games. Nonetheless, this has never been tried against persons in any case of online gaming.

However, legally licensed online operators that are located offshore can offer their games to Philippine players without restriction. Therefore, gambling on online sportsbooks for Philippine players remain safe so long as they are based offshore.

Illegal Gambling Law In The Philippines

Outcome Of Presidential Decree 1602

The urgent need to update gambling laws brought on the creation of PD 1602 as a means to simply clarify the understanding of violations and explicitly prescribe harsher penalties for those violations. Harsher penalties were needed to curb illegal activities as previous penalties were inadequate and did not effectively discourage illegal gaming. Therefore, after the standardization of penalties became clear and enforceable illicit gambling activities began their downturn.

Types of Illegal Gambling in The Philippines

Various games turn from legal to illegal when the wagers no longer transpire between players and a legally licensed and regulated operator but rather when bets become a peer-to-peer game where the “house” takes a rake of the profit which thus makes it illegal. The following games are deemed illegal in the peer to peer betting environment :

  1. Cockfighting
  2. Jai alai game-fixing
  3. Numbers games
  4. Bingo
  5. Other forms of lotteries
  6. Cara y cruz
  7. Pompiang
  8. 7-11 and any game using dice
  9. Blackjack
  10. Lucky nine
  11. Poker and its derivatives
  12. Monte
  13. Baccarat
  14. Cuajao
  15. Panguingue and other card games
  16. Paik que
  17. High and low
  18. Domino and other games using plastic tiles and the likes
  19. Slot machines
  20. Roulette
  21. Pinball and other mechanical contraptions and devices
  22. Dog racing
  23. Boat racing
  24. Car racing and other forms of races
  25. Basketball
  26. Boxing
  27. Volleyball
  28. Bowling
  29. Pingpong and other forms of individual or team contests to include game fixing, point-shaving, and other machinations
  30. Banking or percentage game, or any other game scheme, whether upon chance or skill, wherein wagers consisting of money, articles of value or representative of value are at stake or made

Importance of Participating on Legitimately Licensed Gambling Entertainment

What Is The Penalty For Illegal Gambling

It is important to be sure that the gambling entertainment individuals choose to engage in is a legitimately licensed and regulated operator. This is due to compliance requirements with regulatory agencies and their standards, all of which allow players to gamble in a safe environment without worry or fear.

How To Report Illegal Gambling

However, players and persons knowingly participating in unregulated underground games and/or allowing any form of illicit gaming to be held within a place, vehicle, building owned or managed by them are subject to arrest, punishment of fines up to six thousand pesos, and potential prison time.

What Makes Gambling Illegal

Therefore, there is no reason to risk gambling on illegal formats of gaming. Instead, we encourage players to bet legally on Philippine online casinos to enjoy a wide array of games and bonuses.