Presidential Decree 1602 – A Decree to Create Stiffer Penalties

President Ferdinand Marcos signed Presidential Decree Number 1602 into law on June 11th, 1978. This Decree introduced harsher penalties on individuals and hosts of illegal gambling activities. PD No. 1602 was created out of the need for increased penalties against illegal gaming violations.

Stiffer penalties were believed to be the key to effectively combating illegal gaming activities such as illegal number games and so on. The Philippine government justified the Decree as a law to assist in removing such a social menace that consistently drained the energy and resources of the people. This Decree simplified and clarified violation penalties to be imposed on any person taking part in any form of illegal gambling.

Presidential Decree No. 1602 aided in improving Philippine gambling laws which counteracted illicit games, however, penalties against such were so easily circumvent-able in the past due to the application of a confusing and outdated system of reprimands.

Such penalties held no real authority, therefore, through the creation of Presidential Decree No. 1602 penalties were effectively brought into the modern age to meet current needs, norms, and customs as well as outlined specific games affected by the penalty.

How Does PD No. 1602 Affect Casino Gambling in the Philippines?

Presidential Decree 1602 does not affect lawfully licensed domestic casino gambling but rather targets any and all illicit gaming within the Philippines. This Decree amended criminal provisions such as Articles 195-199 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, Republic Act 3063, PD 483, PD 449, PD 510, and PD 1306 and thus made penalties effective and responsive to the need to curb illegal gaming. Therefore, this Decree promoted legal gambling within casinos, clubs, and turf clubs which assisted in the shift of attitude from illicit underground games to authorized avenues.

The Effect of PD No. 1067-A on Philippine Online Casino Gambling

PD 1602 did not affect online casino gambling due to the fact that the world wide web and its online casino's functions were not yet popularized or even created. Therefore, no language within Presidential Decree 1602 directly addressed online gambling in any way.

Although, some critics could claim that the Decree includes the term “vessel”, which could mean the internet, as a punishable offense if the means of such vessel were used to participate in any of the stated forms of illegal games. Nonetheless, this has never been tried against persons in any case of online gaming.

However, legally licensed online operators that are located offshore can offer their games to Philippine players without restriction. Therefore, gambling on online sportsbooks for Philippine players remain safe so long as they are based offshore.

Outcome Of Presidential Decree 1602

The urgent need to update gambling laws brought on the creation of PD 1602 as a means to simply clarify the understanding of violations and explicitly prescribe harsher penalties for those violations. Harsher penalties were needed to curb illegal activities as previous penalties were inadequate and did not effectively discourage illegal gaming. Therefore, after the standardization of penalties became clear and enforceable illicit gambling activities began their downturn.

Types of Illegal Gambling in The Philippines

Various games turn from legal to illegal when the wagers no longer transpire between players and a legally licensed and regulated operator but rather when bets become a peer-to-peer game where the “house” takes a rake of the profit which thus makes it illegal. The following games are deemed illegal in the peer to peer betting environment :

  1. Cockfighting
  2. Jueteng
  3. Jai alai game-fixing
  4. Numbers games
  5. Bingo
  6. Other forms of lotteries
  7. Cara y cruz
  8. Pompiang
  9. 7-11 and any game using dice
  10. Blackjack
  11. Lucky nine
  12. Poker and its derivatives
  13. Monte
  14. Baccarat
  15. Cuajao
  16. Panguingue and other card games
  17. Paik que
  18. High and low
  19. Mahjong
  20. Domino and other games using plastic tiles and the likes
  21. Slot machines
  22. Roulette
  23. Pinball and other mechanical contraptions and devices
  24. Dog racing
  25. Boat racing
  26. Car racing and other forms of races
  27. Basketball
  28. Boxing
  29. Volleyball
  30. Bowling
  31. Pingpong and other forms of individual or team contests to include game fixing, point-shaving, and other machinations
  32. Banking or percentage game, or any other game scheme, whether upon chance or skill, wherein wagers consisting of money, articles of value or representative of value are at stake or made

Importance of Participating on Legitimately Licensed Gambling Entertainment

It is important to be sure that the gambling entertainment individuals choose to engage in is a legitimately licensed and regulated operator. This is due to compliance requirements with regulatory agencies and their standards, all of which allow players to gamble in a safe environment without worry or fear.

However, players and persons knowingly participating in unregulated underground games and/or allowing any form of illicit gaming to be held within a place, vehicle, building owned or managed by them are subject to arrest, punishment of fines up to six thousand pesos, and potential prison time.

Therefore, there is no reason to risk gambling on illegal formats of gaming. Instead, we encourage players to bet legally on Philippine online casinos to enjoy a wide array of games and bonuses.