In the Philippines, casino gambling is big business. And despite the recent reduction to 50% capacity on area gaming floors (75% inside Metro Manila IR casinos), revenues are up substantially over last year.
However, before you venture back out to your favorite nearby gambling house – if you’re legally allowed to, that is – you might want to consider online casino gambling instead.
If you live in the islands, there are several domestic iGaming options, but these are probably not available to you, as they remain the sole domain of so-called VIP customers.
However, if you’re 18+ and wish to gamble online, there are plenty of non-domestic options that are both legal and safe.
Online casinos and sportsbooks that operate outside of the Philippines are safe and legal for Filipino gamblers to use, and they offer all the same games – often made by the very same casino software developers – as the big domestic brick-and-mortars.
Now, it’s true that – for many gamblers – online casinos don’t offer the same exact level of excitement or community engagement that retail venues do.
There are some aspects of the in-person gambling experience that simply don’t translate to the online space. But these are usually ancillary to the real-money gambling games themselves.
For example, if you play blackjack in a Philippines casino, you get the thrills of the sights and sounds – the hustle and bustle – of the actual casino environment.
You can smell the gourmet food in the restaurants, you can have drinks while you play, and you can yuk it up with other gamblers. You can make friends, enjoy exciting shows and acts after your gaming sessions, and so on.
But online casino gambling – in terms of the games themselves, along with your odds and payouts – is much more convenient and accessible.
Not only that, you can also actually sign up and play.
Remember, domestic PH casinos are limited to patrons of above average income status, while their online components are even more restrictive.
When you use legal offshore Philippines gambling sites, on the other hand, the only requirement is that you’re at least 18 years of age.
Another benefit of online gambling is that when you play with offshore vendors, you can stay out of the politics of the pastime. There’s also a lot of opposition to land-based Philippine casino expansion, whether in Boracay or – most recently – in Cagayan de Oro.
Additionally, on the most extreme end of the spectrum, when you gamble online instead of in person, you can avoid this kind of thing.
While actual violent attacks on casino premises are not common anywhere in the world, they do happen a few times each year.
And despite the above-linked example being a particularly heinous and tragic attack, the fact that online gambling with legitimate offshore operators makes you more or less impervious to this sort of thing is just so much more peace of mind.
That said, we aren’t trying to scare brick-and-mortar customers off of in-person gambling.
Again, there’s really nothing quite like it in terms of the full entertainment package, and we definitely recommend checking out the many world-class Philippine integrated resorts if you’re ever in a position to do so.
However, we also generally treat these experiences as special occasions, while the online option is more of a daily driver.