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What are the laws about gambling in the Philippines?

What are the laws about gambling in the Philippines?

Gambling has been a popular activity in the Philippines since the sixteenth century, and it remains so today. The country is home to more land based casinos than Macau. In addition to the prominence of casinos, lottery based games and betting on horse racing are also very popular in the country.

In the past, there was little control over the gambling that took place in the Philippines. This has now changed and the government controls much of the gambling industry.

The creation of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) was created in 1976, at a time when the country was under martial law. The introduction of PAGCOR into the laws of the Philippines came as a result of Presidential Decree No. 1869. It was created to enable the central control, and licensing, of gambling premises in the country. The government still controls the gambling industry in the Philippines today, although private companies such as Bloomberry Resorts Corp and Tiger Resorts are also involved. Online gambling was originally going to be outlawed, but is now also controlled by PAGCOR, which authorises legal casinos for Filipinos.

Regulation of lotteries and horse racing wagers

PAGCOR is not the only regulatory force, when it comes to gambling in the Philippines. Lottery games in the country are regulated by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), making use of Republic Act 1169. There are several lotto games available to play in the country, including Lotto 6/42, Megalotto 6/45 and Superlotto 6/49. They are all regulated in the same way, by the PCSO.

Horse racing in the Philippines began as a popular pastime, as far back as the mid nineteenth century. Today, it's a major sport in the country. There are three world class horse racing facilities for people to visit. While the sport of racing is controlled by the Philippine Racing Commission (PRC), the betting aspect is controlled by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB). The GAB operates using Republic Act No. 8407 and Republic Act No. 7953. These acts give it the authority to regulate gambling activity on horse racing and other sports.

The laws about gambling in the Philippines are varied, as you can see. They have all been written with the same intent; to enable the government to have control over the industry. The benefit of this is that the government can benefit from the massive revenues available and it ensures that all casinos, sports betting and lottery operators adhere to the same sets of rules.

As the Philippines looks to develop closer relations with China, the gambling position is likely to be further improved. This is because the Philippines is starting to compete with Macau for the custom of the wealthy Chinese business community. If it does attract this new influx of casino customers, the Philippines should benefit from the increased gambling revenue that could be created over the coming months and years.


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