In the Philippines, sabong is the undisputed national sport. With hundreds of years of history in the islands, sabong – or cockfighting, as it’s known in the rest of the world – is wildly popular. However, while the sport is regulated by PAGCOR and the Philippines government, there is also a thriving underground sabong community, and much of the betting action for these unsanctioned events has moved online. To combat unsanctioned online sabong, the nation is considering legislation to regulate Philippines legal e-Sabong betting, or sabong online betting.
To learn more about the future for legal sabong betting online in the Philippines, this page breaks down the status of the market and what’s in store for the sabong community once PAGCOR is in full control of online cockfighting betting. The proposed legislation to regulate e-Sabong is discussed below, and we also cover all the options that will be available to you once the new standards, rules, and protocols are enacted.
Betting On e-Sabong At Legal Offshore Sportsbooks
Unfortunately, there are no sabong options at legal Philippine offshore sportsbooks and betting sites. Due to the localized nature of Philippines sabong action, these books normally don’t have betting lines for the popular sport.
When it comes to sabong, international audiences simply don’t show enough global interest to motivate these operators to post lines, especially on events that have unique logistical hurdles to overcome.
Of course, the sportsbooks at legal online Philippine casinos are still legal to use for betting on all the other popular sports markets locally and internationally, and we recommend the following providers for safely, securely betting on sports online.
Is It Legal To Bet On e-Sabong In The Philippines?
Online sabong is not currently regulated in the Philippines, and the government considers most providers of Internet-based cockfighting sportsbooks to be operating unlawfully. However, the country is moving to change this, bringing online sabong betting to the masses much in the same way that it has overseen regulated domestic sabong at live cockpits.
The pending legislation, which you can read more about on our Philippines gambling laws page, is called HB 8910. This law – once adopted (which should be any day now, as it has near-unanimous support in the Philippine Congress) – would set up a series of overhauls to the sport of sabong and the sabong betting marketplace inside the nation, and it would give e-Sabong oversight to PAGCOR and the Games and Amusements Board (or GAB).
The law would also make grey-market online cockfighting illegal in its current form, with the express intent to create a legal online environment for e-Sabong. With the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 leading to discussions of legalizing full online sports betting for PH residents in the near future, e-Sabong could open the door to all kinds of other domestic online sportsbook operations, where bettors will be able to wager on the PBA, eSports, and other local and international sports of interest.
Online e-Sabong Betting Laws Explained
Right now, there are no defined online sabong betting laws. However, should HB 8910 be signed into law, that will change. At that time, for both sabong and e-Sabong, PAGCOR and the GAB would be running the show.
And it would make a lot of sense for the country to go this route, too, as when it comes to online sabong, Philippines bettors are extremely enthusiastic. With a sabong derby held at any given locale within the islands on any given day, a full, taxable model on such operations would give the country a much-needed shot in the arm.
The Philippines relies heavily on gambling revenues to fund infrastructural projects, and properly administering e-Sabong and sabong sports events in general would go a long way towards that end.
Who Regulates e-Sabong In The Philippines?
Currently, nobody. And that’s the big problem that the government is seeking to fix via legislation in the near future.
HB 8910 would give regulatory oversight to PAGCOR and the GAB, and cockpit operators and betting providers would have to abide by the same rules and reporting standards that currently govern the brick-and-mortar casino gambling industry and retail Philippines sports betting options hosted by MegaSportsWorld (MSW).
In recent years, countless underground sabong derbies have been broken up, as the government is trying to get a handle on these activities in order to replace them with legitimate options. Similarly, there have been several e-Sabong raids lately, as the state hopes to force these operators out in its attempt to bring the market into the light.
What Is Illegal Online Cockfighting?
Illegal online cockfighting is exactly what it sounds like: illegal online cockfighting. As there are no laws surrounding this underground, fringe industry, any wagers placed online with unauthorized cockpits are considered to be against the law.
Ironically, illegal online sabong is where the e-Sabong name actually originated. The term is so popular and pervasive in the Philippines sabong community and on sabong forums that even as the state seeks to formally make these unauthorized service illegal, it has adopted the e-Sabong name for its legalization initiatives.
This is an interesting branding evolution, and it demonstrates how widespread and popular unregulated e-Sabong is in the nation.
Major Future e-Sabong Tournaments And Events
The sabong sports schedule is jam-packed with events, and different schedules are posted in different regions in the Philippines. We have provided a list of resources in the requisite section below, but in the meantime, these are the major events in the industry that actually draw a global viewership and mainstream media coverage:
World Slasher Cup
An annual international tournament dubbed the “Olympics of Cockfighting”.
World Gamefowl Expo
Trade show for the gamefowl industry, often hosted in the Philippines and having deep implications for cockfighting and the Philippine sabong market.
Best e-Sabong Betting Tips
When it comes to sabong online betting, Philippines residents are certainly better versed in the minutiae and nuanced strategies of their national game than anyone else.
However, there are a few sabong betting tips and tricks to take into consideration if you’re new to the sport or are interested in the launch of legal e-Sabong, including the following:
- Know which side your rooster is on. In the Philippines, a sabong chicken fight is held in a cockpit, or sabong arena. There are two sides: Meron and Wala. The cock on the Meron side is the betting favorite, while the cock on the Wala side is the underdog – or, in this case, the underchicken.
- Understand Sabong Odds. Odds in sabong are generally fixed, as they are in e-Sabong. Thus, e-Sabong odds follow the same general pattern when it comes to the terms for the betting lines and what they mean (see the next section).
- Research sabong betting gestures. Sabong betting is communicated not through typical odds boards, but through hand gestures. Odds are rarely even (i.e. 50-50) between fighting cocks, so it’s important to understand what these hand gestures mean. There are many resources online that break down the details.
- Don’t always bet on the champion. Cockfighting might seem easy: Just bet on the bigger bird! But it isn’t that simple, and cockfights are set up just like boxing matches, with owners shopping their roosters around in an effort to make matches more compelling. Often, the birds will seem evenly matched. Additionally, a chicken only has so much fight in him. The champion won’t be a champion forever!
- Never bet more than you can afford to lose. When you bet on e-Sabong, as with typical sabong betting or any other sports betting, you need to stick to your bankroll management strategy and not get carried away by all those flying feathers. Never bet more than you can afford to lose. Philippines domestic gambling laws make patrons prove their financial status before they’re able to play in casinos, and we expect the same will be true once e-Sabong is legalized and regulated.
Understanding e-Sabong Odds
Remember, e-Sabong is exactly the same as sabong, with the exception that the betting happens online instead of in-person at the cockpit itself. Thus, it’s important that you understand the basics when it comes to the betting lines and what they’re traditionally called. In general, these are the terms you need to know:
- Parehas: +100 (100 wins 100, or even odds)
- Lo dies: +125 (100 wins 125)
- Walo-anim: +133 (300 wins 400)
- Onse: +138 (400 wins 550)
- Tres: +150 (1000 wins 1500)
- Sampu-anim: + 167 (600 wins 1000)
- Doblado: +200 (1000 wins 2000)
e-Sabong Online Resources
The following resources are available to Philippine cockfighting enthusiasts and are all great outlets for the forthcoming e-Sabong industry in the country.
Many of these sites allow you to watch sabong live for free, and they also have sabong cockfighting videos of recent events available to watch in replay form.
These are the most prevalent sabong online sites for enthusiasts of the Philippine national pastime:
- Party Sabong – Sabong International Cockfighting App
- Pitmasters Live – Free Live Streaming Sabong (Pitmasters Sabong)
- Sabong 101 – YouTube channel, Facebook Group
- Sabong Boss – Online Sabong Betting Group
- Sabong Idol – Online Sabong Betting Group
- Sabong Master – Live Sabong Video, Facebook Group
- Sabong Nation – Sabong TV Show (TV5)
- Sabong Phoenix – Facebook Group
- Sabong Pilipinas – Facebook Group
- Sabong Pinoy TV – Facebook Group
- Sabong Tambayan – Sabong Forum, Facebook Group
- Sabong Tube – Sabong Full Videos
- Sabong TV – Top-Rated Sabong Show
- Sabong Universe – Facebook Group
- Sabong Warriors – e-Sabong Betting Information
- Sabong.net.ph – Online Sabong Community, Sabong Forum
Philippines e-Sabong FAQs
Where can I find live e-Sabong video online?
While you can watch sabong online, there are no legitimate, authorized venues currently in operation that allow you to watch e-Sabong events legally with the intention of wagering on the outcomes of the contests. That will change once e-Sabong is formally legalized.
Where can I find the e-Sabong TV schedule?
You can watch sabong live now through any number of online outlets, from Sabong Nation live streaming and various YouTube sabong sports channels to actual mainstream TV5 programming.
Once e-Sabong is legalized and hits the consumer marketplace, you’ll have even more options to watch sabong online free. After all, if you’re going to bet on these cockfights over the Internet, you should be able to watch sabong live for free, too!
What is sabong in English?
“Sabong,” in English, basically translates to “cockfight” or “cockfighting.” Sabong is the Tagalog word for the sport, and Tagalog is the official national language of the Philippines.
What is a sabong manok?
A “sabong manok” is a cockfighting chicken. “Sabong” means cockfight, and “manok” is the Tagalog word for “chicken.” Contextually, of course, it really means rooster or cock, as only males of the various gamefowl species participate in cockfighting.
Will e-Sabong online registration be necessary to bet on cockfighting?
This is unclear, but it’s likely to be the case.
In the Philippines, bettors and gamblers are typically required to be registered in some way. This corresponds to the government’s efforts to ensure that only those with reasonably disposable income can legally bet.
When it comes to legally betting on e-Sabong, we expect similar restrictions, though probably with much lower income thresholds for eligible bettors.
Where can I find current sabong records?
Unfortunately, outside of the annual results for the Slasher World Cup, there aren’t many resources for looking up sabong records. For bettors, this is important to do, but the nature of cockfighting is that no rooster stays on top of his perch for too long.
It’s thus less important to find individual performance records than it is to find the sabong records of various owners, teams, and breeders.
This information is available if you dig deeply enough on the Internet, but once e-Sabong is legalized, we expect there to be a much more readily accessible database of all relevant information.
Will there be online sabong jobs in the Philippines when e-Sabong is legalized?
Any new industry typically comes with new job opportunities, so there should be plenty of e-Sabong jobs for cockpit attendants, technical experts, web developers, streaming technology engineers, and more.
If you’re interested in getting a job in the Filipino sabong industry, now is a very good time to start planning your future!