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The History of Gambling in the Philippines

A captivating image of a blackjack table

Did you know that the Philippines has a rich history of gambling? In fact, it dates back to the pre-colonial era. The cultural influences and geographic location have shaped the gambling industry over the years. From traditional games to modern and online casinos, many factors have shaped the gambling industry in the Philippines. If you want to know more about how the gambling industry has developed in the Philippines, you’re in the right place. Here’s how it all started!

Pre-colonial Gambling

The start of the gambling industry in the Philippines dates back to the 16th century, even though there are no specific records to confirm this. It is believed that the Chinese people introduced some forms of gambling during this time. Many Chinese people would travel to the Philippines for business purposes because of the proximity of these countries, which is how this started.

Spanish Influence

Once Spain colonized the Philippines in 1571, the gambling industry saw significant changes. The Spanish authorities tried to suppress gambling; however, this proved to be unsuccessful. Therefore, in 1833, the Spanish government introduced a state-run lottery known as the Loteria.

The American Period

Many of the popular games in the Filipino gambling industry stem from this era. You can find some of these on Bet 999 live games. The Philippines was under American rule from 1898, after the Spanish-American war. Horse racing and cockfighting are two of the most popular gambling traditions to come out of this period. Horse racing was particularly loved by the upper class, and this laid the foundation for the modern gambling world in the Philippines.

Gambling Laws Introduced During the Post-war Era

The Filipino government started to notice the potential of the gambling industry after World War II. As a result, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) was formed in 1976. This is a government-owned industry that was created to oversee and regulate casinos.

It’s important to note that Cagayan and Freeport were not under the regulation of PAGCOR. These areas had their own private casinos that were made accessible to tourists. Furthermore, when it came to online gambling, only foreign players were allowed to take part. Local Filipinos were prohibited from online gambling in most parts of the country.

Eventually, PAGCOR gave up this monopoly, and private entities were allowed to create and operate their own casinos. This led to the development of many large casinos in hotels and resorts in popular cities such as Cebu and Manila. At these casinos, you can find a wide range of popular games, such as blackjack and roulette, and countless slot machines.

Popular Gambling Games in the Philippines

The following games have been some of the most popular over the years:

1. Online Casinos

The online gambling industry is an extremely popular one in the Philippines. Even though the online gambling industry has experienced a number of regulatory challenges and controversies over the years, it has positively impacted the economy in the Philippines.

2. Cockfighting

This is an older form of gambling. In cockfighting, two carefully bred cocks fight with one another, and the individual bets on the cock they think will win. After the fight, the winning cock is treated with proper care and medicine, and the losing cock is consumed. This is also commonly known as Sabong.

3. Sweepstakes

One of the first things many people think about when it comes to gambling is lotteries. When playing the lotto, the winner gets a large sum of money. Generally, the winner is the person that matches all six of the numbers that the host draws. The prize money isn’t a set or determined amount of money and usually depends on how many people participated in the game.

4. Table Games and On-site Gambling

The Philippines has many in-person casinos where you can play games and win money. At these casinos, you can play card games, table games, slot machines, and more.

5. Horse Racing

You can’t talk about gambling in the Philippines without talking about horse racing. This involves betting on a horse you think is going to win a particular race. You’re also free to bet on more than one horse to increase your chances of winning.

What Social and Economic Impact Has Gambling Had on The Philippines?

It could be said that gambling has positively and negatively the Philippine society in a number of ways. When looking at the positive contributions, it led to increased tourism, additional revenue for the government, and increased employment rates. Let’s not forget, it’s also a fantastic form of entertainment.

However, many people have also developed gambling addictions over the years, which has resulted in numerous social issues for these people and their families. Fortunately, many steps have been taken to implement responsible gambling and to ensure that those with a problem get the help they need.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, many eras and narratives have shaped the gambling industry in the Philippines. From economic considerations to colonial influences and cultural traditions, several factors play a part in this industry. With its rich history, it’s clear to see that gambling has evolved over the centuries in the Philippines. Do you want to be a part of the Filipino gambling history? Bet999 offer a range of opportunities that enable you to gamble responsibly and have fun with a variety of games.


How Can You Fund Gambling Activities?

From debit and credit cards to crypto wallets such as MetaMask, many casinos and online casinos have numerous ways for you to finance your betting activities.

Are Gambling Profits Taxed in the Philippines?

Yes, people are taxed on 20% of their winnings from gambling and betting activities. This is a withholding tax that the operator will automatically withhold. Furthermore, winnings of less than 10,000 Philippine pesos are taxed as a part of normal income tax, which can range between 5% and 32%.

Is it Legal to Use Gambling Websites Outside the Philippines?

Yes, a ruling was made in 2012 that made offshore online gambling websites and casinos legal.

Do Philippine Casinos Offer Cockfighting?

No, even though cockfighting is legal in the Philippines, there are places specifically designated for this type of activity. Therefore, you can’t bet on cockfighting in Philippine casinos.

How Do PAGCOR Casinos Tax You?

PAGCOR imposes a 5% franchise tax on earnings. 50% of the profits made from online gambling go to the national government.

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