Active players: 12.700.000
Currency: Philippine peso (PHP)
Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse racing, casino, bingo, lottery, poker
Operator types: Licensed online bookies, unlicensed international online bookmakers
Designated authority: Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation [PAGCOR] / FCLRC (only in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport)
The Philippines is an island country with a rich history located in Southeast Asia. It constitutes the world’s 13th most populous nation and a founding member of the UN and the ASEAN. It is also the birthplace of the famous sports figure and politician Manny Pacquiao. Filipinos are huge sports fans. Basketball, boxing and cockfighting are the most popular sports in the region. So, it comes as no surprise that sports betting (along with other gambling activities) is their favorite pastime.
Gambling in the Philippines is legal and monitored by the state-owned regulatory body PAGCOR. The only exception is the Cagayan Freeport that has its own regulator, the FCLRC. It grants licenses to offshore bookies that offer sports betting in the southeastern region of Asia. Locals are only allowed to gamble on online betting sites in the Philippines licensed by PAGCOR; not on those licensed by FCLRC. However, most of the major international sportsbooks accept Filipino players. Moreover, they offer the PHP currency, along with high odds on a wide selection of Asian handicap markets.
Online gambling Philippines - 5 things to know
- More than 40% of adult citizens participate in gambling activities every month
- MSW, the land-based gambling operator, has more than 100 outlets nationwide
- Locals & expats residing in the country are not allowed to gamble on FCLRC licensees
- Cockfighting (Sabong) is by far the most popular gambling activity among Filipinos
- PAGCOR will remain the country’s main gambling regulator at least until 2032
Best betting sites in the Philippines
After extensively checking which bookies offer the highest odds and a wide variety of markets on the PBA; we present you the top sports betting sites Philippines has to offer.
Online betting in the Philippines - The law framework
All forms of gambling in the Philippines are legal under the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). The state-owned gambling regulator and licensing authority was established in 1976. It operates under the Gaming License and Development Department (GLDD). Except for PAGCOR, there is also another gambling regulator based in the Philippines. The First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation (FCLRC); which is located in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport. It was established in 2003. It is solely tasked with the issuance of licenses for offshore bookies which accept players who reside outside of the country. This means that Filipinos cannot place their bets on foreign sportsbooks licensed by FCLRC.
They can only punt on local online bookies licensed by PAGCOR; like Fun88 and Fb88. Moreover, they can legally wager on the land-based betting operator MegaSportsWorld (MSW). It is worth noting that, all PAGCOR licensees are subject to a 25% tax on their GGR; plus, an additional 5% franchise tax. It is also worth noting that locals are not allowed to gamble on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs); despite the fact that they are overseen by PAGCOR. These are online gambling companies that are based in the country, but only cater to players residing outside of it. Nevertheless, there isn’t any specific gambling law Philippines has established to prevent punters from wagering on international betting sites that have absolutely no connection with the two Filipino regulators.
Essential gambling information for expats
As mentioned above, locals cannot play on online gambling sites in Philippines that are licensed by the FCLRC and on POGOs. Exactly the same applies to foreigners living in the country. More specifically, POGOs restrict access to any individual residing in the Philippines; regardless of his citizenship status. It is worth mentioning that more than 140,000 foreigners work at POGOs; with most of them being Chinese nationals living in Manila. Nonetheless, none of them can gamble on these operators. On the contrary, international online sportsbooks accept locals, as well as foreigners. As regards online gambling winnings deriving from licensed PAGCOR operators; both locals and expatriates have to pay a 10% gambling tax in Philippines on winnings up to 10.000 PHP. Moreover, a 20% tax applies on winnings over 10.000 PHP. On the other hand, winnings deriving from international betting sites are tax-free.
Sports betting Philippines
Filipinos love sports as they are part of their culture. The most popular ones are basketball, boxing (thanks to Manny Pacquiao) and cockfighting; which is known locally as Sabong. Furthermore, football, volleyball and horse racing are also popular. It is worth noting though that since 2009; arnis has officially been the National Martial Art and Sport of the Philippines. When it comes to betting, most punters prefer to wager on combat sports and on matches of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA); which is the country’s top professional sports organization. As for NBA online betting, Philippines is the country where the most avid punters live.
Nevertheless, the most widespread gambling activity nationwide is cockfighting. Sabong is more than simply a game. It is an everyday activity that defines the Filipino culture. It is a legal sport since 1974 and is regulated by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB). Legal cockfights take place in regulated cockpits almost every day. However, there are also many illegal cockpits throughout the nation; where illegal cockfights (tupada or tigbakay) take place. From time to time, these illegal arenas are raided by GAB’s executives, in order to tackle illegal gambling in the Philippines. Therefore, we would advise you to stay away from them.
How to deposit at online sportsbooks
The most common deposit options among those who opt for sportsbooks that are regulated by PAGCOR, are bank transfers. In addition, credit & debit cards issued by the Philippine National Bank (PNB) and the local payment methods GCash and ECPay. On the other hand, those who place their bets on popular international online bookmakers; avoid depositing funds to their account through credit/debit cards and bank wire, in order to keep their personal details undisclosed. Thus, if you want to have a riskless betting experience; stick to globally known e-wallets, like Skrill and Neteller, or even resort to crypto for both your deposits and withdrawals.
If you’re simply looking for a sportsbook, Philippines has plenty to offer. However, if you’re looking for a decent international bookie, that not only accepts locals, but also allows them to bet by using the local currency; then, you’re in the right place. Below you can check the complete list of bookmakers offering the PHP currency.
Since 2016, when POGOs began to operate in the Philippines; a period of tighter regulation of the local gambling market was introduced by PAGCOR. All online bookies that don't have a PAGCOR license are illegal. Filipinos cannot gamble legally on POGOs or on FCLRC licensees. This doesn’t seem possible to change anytime soon; since PAGCOR is expected to remain the state’s gambling regulator at least until 2032. Consequently, online gambling in the Philippines will remain as it is for many more years to come. This means that bettors (both locals and expats living in the country) will keep on wagering on renowned international betting sites; in search of higher odds and a wider variety of Asian handicap markets.
The following list consists of all the online sportsbooks that accept players residing in the Philippines.
No, it is not. As a matter of fact, all gambling activities taking place in the country are legal and regulated by PAGCOR. However, when it comes to illegal gambling, Philippines has many illicit cockpits in which cockfights, known as tupada or tigbakay, take place.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) regulates both online and land-based legal gambling in the Philippines. Nonetheless, the Cagayan Freeport has its own regulatory body, the First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation (FCLRC).
When it comes to online gambling Philippines is perfectly regulated. There are domestic betting sites which are licensed by PAGCOR. There are also local online casinos operated by PAGCOR, among which, three accept players within the country according to the new PIGO (Philippine Inland Gaming Operator) national licensing scheme. However, Filipino citizens and expats living in the country are not allowed to legally gamble on foreign bookies and casinos.
All gambling winnings deriving from PAGCOR licensees are subject to tax. More specifically, for winnings up to 10.000 PHP you should pay 10% income tax. Moreover, for winnings over 10.000 PHP you must pay 20% income tax.
Cockfighting or sabong is one of the most popular gambling games in the Philippines. It has been legal since 1974 and is regulated by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB). Filipinos place their bets on cockfights regularly, since sabong is an integral part of their everyday lives.
Yes it is. More specifically, in terms of online sports betting, Philippines offers local websites that are regulated by PAGCOR. Moreover, decent international bookies that accept bettors who reside in the country also exist; despite the fact that they don’t hold a domestic license.
Among the various international bookmakers that accept Filipinos, 1xBet is the one that stands out. More specifically, 1xBet Philippines offers a wide range of Asian bets on popular domestic leagues such as the PBA, along with very competitive odds.
No, Bet365 is not able to legally operate in the Philippines, as it doesn’t hold a valid license issued by PAGCOR. As a matter of fact, it does not even accept punters who reside in the country, since it doesn’t want to operate illegally there. Thus, there is no Bet365 Philippines.
Basketball betting in Philippines, along with wagering on cockfights and boxing games, are the most popular betting activities. Except for the aforementioned spots, baseball, tennis, sepak takraw, and esports are also very popular among bettors who reside in the country.
If you’re interested in betting on the licensed online betting sites Philippines has to offer, then the top deposit method is the local e-wallet GCash. However, if you would like to wager on a decent international sportsbook; globally known payments like Skrill and Neteller would be ideal for you.