Types of Illegal Gambling in the Philippines

There are many types of illegal gambling in the Philippines, and they are clearly outlined in the Presidential Decree 1602. In this guide, we intend to cover online gaming and its legality in greater detail.

Gambling In The Philippines - Through The Ages

What is considered to be illegal gambling in the Philipines? Placing bets has been part of the culture of the Philippines for a long time, but the first historical event in the industry was the creation of PAGCOR in 1976. PAGCOR stands for the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, and it regulates and licenses traditional gaming establishments around the country. Two years later, in 1978, the government passed the Presidential Decree 1602. This outlined the various forms of unlawful gaming, along with their penalties.

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In the 1990s, the Cagayan Special Economic Zone was established to offer internet gaming licenses to operators interested in the Asian market. Another important event in the industry was the 2012 ruling by the Court of Appeal. In a game-changing case, the courts ruled that there are no penalties for internet gaming in the country since there are no laws against them.

Presidential Decree 1602 - Stiffer Penalties On Illegal Gambling

The Presidential Decree 1602 was passed in 1978 and describes the various types of illegal gambling in the Philippines, along with the punishments applicable. Some of the outlawed games include seven-eleven dice games and pinball. Betting on sports is also considered illegal gambling, and penalties are severe for people caught engaging in match-fixing.

Anyone caught participating in unlawful gaming will face a maximum punishment of 6,000 pesos and a prison sentence. Penalties are mostly reserved for the people who profit from the activity, including the transporters of the machines and people leasing the gambling spaces.

It is worth noting that the decree does not mention online betting in the Philippines. Internet gamblers and betting sites are generally safe from these legislations.

Illegal Gambling in the Philippines

Popular Types Of Illegal Gambling In The Philippines

Betting is very popular in the Philippines, and that can make it easy to forget that some common forms of gaming are illegal. Here are some of the popular types of illegal gaming in the country.

  • Jueteng
  • Cara y Cruz
  • Blackjack
  • Poker
  • Lucky 9
  • Baccarat
  • Monte
  • Palk que
  • Domino

Although these forms of gaming are categorically noted to be illegal in the Presidential Decree 1602, people in the country still play the games in betting sites. This is because the law does not have any provisions for internet betting yet.

Pampanga Court Of Appeals - A Game Changer

The Court of Appeal in the Philippines has set a precedent showing that internet gaming is not punishable by law in the country. Back in 2006, British Grand Vision International Col, Inc. was running its internet casino in the province of Pampanga in the Philippines. The company ended up getting prosecuted for operating a gaming service that was against the 1978 Presidential Decree 1602.

The case was dismissed six years later, in 2012, when the Court of Appeal ruled that the company did not break any laws since there are no legislations touching on the internet betting. This ruling means that bettors can gamble in internet casinos without worrying about prosecution or paying fines.

Illegal Gambling

Is The Future Bright For Online Gambling in the Philippines?

Online gambling in the Philippines is quite different from the rest of the world. The country issues internet gaming licenses from its institution in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone, but these licensed sites are not available to people living in the Philippines. Since the state of the industry does not follow any other system of the world, it can be hard to predict the future of internet betting in the country.

It is possible that internet gaming will be regulated more closely, following the passing of the new anti-money laundering law. This might make it harder to play games on the internet. On the flip side, it may make the industry a lot safer and thus more welcoming to the average Philippine.

Aside from the legal aspects of internet gaming in the country, the industry is becoming more and more innovative. Soon, people in the country are likely to be playing virtual reality casino games. The casinos are also likely to start accepting some of the more established cryptocurrencies, and that can further improve the playing experience.


Here are some questions you may have about gaming in the Philippines:

There is no standard bail amount for illegal gambling in the country. However, it is easy to determine the penalties for illegal gambling in traditional casinos since they are defined in the Presidential Decree 1602.
Many people do not report their gaming income in the country, but the tax code covers this form of income. If you win 10,000 pesos or less, you have to pay 10% in taxes, and anything above 10,000 pesos attracts a 20% tax. It is important to mention that these are the general gaming tax rules and do not specifically apply to online gaming.
Yes, bingo is considered a form of gaming in the Philippines. The game is offered in many sites that target players in the country. Bingo is legal in brick-and-mortar casinos around the Philippines.
Jueteng is a numbers game that is quite popular with almost all social groups in the country, despite being illegal. The game involves the selection of two digits between 1 and 37. With one peso, a player can win up to 1,000 pesos.
Bloodsports are a part of the local culture in the Philippines, and they are never complete without bets. Betting on the game is prohibited by law, but many people still place bets on the sport on the internet. Nowadays, many of the important blood sports sessions are streamed live, so you can clearly see whether you won or lost money.