Contrary to what most people think, sports booking is not illegal in the Philippines. However, one must know that not anybody can operate a gambling facility in the country. The licensing body that regulates all sports booking and gambling activities in the country is PAGCOR.
Without the blessing of this organization, the gambling facility is illegal. Here, we will be discussing how people in the country place their wagers on favorite Philippine sports.
The Philippines allows companies to operate casinos and online sports booking facilities inside the country, physically.
However, most of these companies are internationally owned and are only licensed by the country to operate if they will offer their gambling services outside the Philippines.
The only reason that these gambling facilities operate in the Philippines is that these investors can enjoy the benefits of economic zones in the country where they will pay fewer taxes, and may even qualify for government subsidies like free utilities (water and electricity). Of course, there are international companies located outside the Philippines that accept Filipino wagers. This is not illegal, but there are very few legitimate sports booking that operate in the Philippines, which also take Filipino bettors.
Popular Sports in the Country
The three most popular sports in the country are horseracing, cockfighting, and basketball. To bet on these games, you need to have access to betting kiosks. If you don’t, you can make your bets from land-based casinos that offer sports betting.
For cockfights, every region has its own cockfight coliseum. Derbies are held weekly, and there are championships that happen in each area a least once a year. There are no online sports betting companies that support cockfights.
For online sports booking, the dominating company is Mega Sports World (MSW) However, you still need to place your wagers from kiosks.
How to Place Your Wagers
There is no way to gamble online in the Philippines for sport-related events, even if MSW has an online system. It is illegal in the Philippines to allow any Filipino to place bets through a computer, except the computers of the gambling operators. As such, you cannot make online wagers from your house.
Your only recourse is to go to a brick-and-mortar facility and let the cashier do the betting for you before the sports activity commences. The company, MSW, has hundreds of outlets spread around the country. However, a vast majority of these are located in the capital region of the Philippines, which is Metro Manila. Or you can phone in your bets through the company. Since the company has no online betting system, you need to find an outlet and physically fund your bets. If you are going to phone in your wager, you must be a registered member of MSW. MSW offers limited international sports. Most of the games are local to the country.
The other gambling company that is licensed is e-Games. It is a brick-and-mortar facility that has hundreds of branches in the country. Inside these facilities are computers. You pay the cashier, and the cashier will give you a card that has your ID number. Sit in front of any of the computers inside the facility, and you can access table games like blackjack, poker, and bingo, and more. You can only cash out after you surrender that card to the cashier, and you will be paid in cash.
To fund your bets or your membership, you can do it either by cash or by credit card. You can do this by dropping by the kiosks and handing over your payment to the cashier. You can also hand over your credit card, and the cashier will swipe it. The cash balance will be reflected in your membership card, which stores information about you. However, you cannot access your membership information online, as there is no legal online gambling website that operates in the country.
As a member, you will get what is called an MSW card, and you can use this card to cash out your winnings, or you can also go to the kiosk and get real cash for your payout.
The Philippines has strict gambling laws, most especially so for online gambling. As such, sports betting is a tad difficult to access.
If you live in remote areas, you cannot place your wager if there is no betting outlet, and you are left with either betting against your friends, or gambling in international sites.