Philippines Gambling Laws FAQs

You may have several questions when it comes to legal online casino gambling in the Philippines. This is a good thing. Online gambling can be a tricky market given a country’s gambling laws. That is why we developed this page to hopefully answer some of your pressing questions regarding the legalities behind domestic and offshore gambling in the Philippines.

Is It Legal To Gamble Online In The Philippines?

Yes, but only through licensed offshore gambling sites. Filipino based online casino and gambling sites are not allowed to offer services to domestic players. There are numerous licensed offshore casinos available for use without breaking any laws.

Is Brick-And-Mortar Gambling Legal In The Philippines?

Yes. Philippines gambling laws permit brick-and-mortar gambling in multiple establishments throughout the country. A lot of gambling spots are located in the Metro Manila area.

What Types Of Gambling Forms Are Considered Legal In The Philippines?

Philippines residents are able to participate in legal casinos with slots, table games and more. There are also legal poker options, sports gambling, race betting, sabong, lottery gambling and more.

Who Regulates Gambling In The Philippines?

Regulation is split up amongst multiple departments. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is the largest regulatory entity in the country. There is also the First Cagayan, Philippine Racing Commission, the Games and Amusements Board and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Who Regulates Offshore Gambling Sites For The Philippines?

Offshore gambling sites are licensed and regulated outside of the Philippines. If an online site were licensed in the Philippines it would not be allowed to offer Filipinos its services. Most online sites that carry licenses are out of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.

Which Gaming Activities Are Regulated In The Philippines?

Casino, gaming machines, horse race betting, remote gambling, and lotteries are all regulated in the Philippines.

What Types Of Casino Games Are There In The Philippines?

Philippines based casinos feature slots, baccarat, blackjack, pai gow, roulette, poker, craps, video poker and more.

Is Sabong Offered In Philippines Casinos?

No. While Sabong is legal in the Philippines, there are venues designated for that activity. Casinos do not have a Sabong section.

How Do Online Gambling Laws Differ In The Philippines?

Online gambling in the Philippines is basically divided between the Philippines and the Cagayan area. Cagayan-licensed online gambling sites only accept foreign players. Filipinos in the main part of the country do not have any domestic online gambling options. Instead, they use e-gaming machines scattered throughout the country. This is why many Filipinos used licensed offshore gambling sites to play online.

What Is The Legal Gambling Age In The Philippines?

Players must be at least 21 years of age to use PAGCOR establishments. First Cagayan enforces a gambling age of 18 for any of their operations. Local students attending university are restricted from using PAGCOR locations.

How Are Licensing Fees Handled For Casinos In The Philippines?

There is a formula for calculating licensing fees when a new applicant surfaces. That formula is multiplied by the gross gaming revenue of the said establishment. The GGR is a culmination of revenue from slot machines, chip washing stations, and special table gaming areas.

Does PAGCOR Own All The Casinos In The Philippines?

PAGCOR operates many of its own casinos, however, there are resort projects outside the PAGCOR umbrella.

How Do Taxes Work With PAGCOR Casinos?

PAGCOR has a 5% franchise tax and 50% of the total winnings from gambling goes towards the national government. The government then sends those funds to bolster infrastructure and civic projects.

Do Individual Players Need To Pay Taxes On Gambling Earnings?

This is a debated topic. While some players run the risk of not declaring gambling income and therefore not paying taxes, it is possible legal troubles may arise if audited. It is a common misconception that you do not have to report lower amounts of gambling earnings. The Philippine Tax Code is vague when it comes to gambling earnings. In theory, gambling income of PHP 10,000 and below are taxed at 10% and taxed at 20% for PHP 10,001 and above. However, there are no reports of the Philippine government coming after people for tax evasion on gambling earnings. Gambling income is a gray area for most countries when it comes to tax purposes, especially if you have a full-time job as your primary income source.