Most Popular Bookies in Philippines

As of 2022, the Filipino gambling industry is worth well over $6 billion. Now, that's a huge industry whose contribution to the economy of the Philippines cannot be ignored. But what many people may be wondering is what may have led to the massive growth of this industry in the country.

Well, it is no secret that Filipino nationals have a huge appetite for sports betting and betting in general. And with lots of sportsbooks allowing the Filipinos to register and bet, nothing stands in the way of the industry's growth.

Most Popular Bookies in Philippines

The country has also put in place a mechanism to protect its citizens from online sports betting scammers. All sports betting activities in the Philippines are monitored and controled by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). This is a government-owned regulatory body tasked with the responsibility of remote license issuance and promoting responsible gambling.

Hence, any offshore sportsbook is allowed to operate in the Philippines as long as such a site meets all the requirements of PAGCOR. This comes as soothing news to Filipinos as they can rest assured they are betting at reputable sites. In a nutshell, betting in the Philippines is more popular than anyone would imagine.

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History of betting in Philippines

History of betting in Philippines

Gambling was legalized in the Philippines as early as 1975. During that year, then President, Ferdinand Marcos, signed Decree No. 1067 into law. This is the same law that gave way to the establishment of PAGCOR. Initially, punters would bet on the match winner, but with time, betting expanded to include other markets to provide bettors more freedom of choice. Sports betting has been rising by the day in recent times, with foreign bookmakers blazing the trail.

History of betting in Philippines
Betting nowadays in Philippines

Betting nowadays in Philippines

What started as a simple activity has now evolved into a multi-billion industry that brought together many stakeholders, including sports fans, bettors, bookmakers, and payment processors. As mentioned earlier, Filipinos now have a wide range of markets, and of course sports, to bet on.

This includes football, horse racing, tennis, boxing, rugby, athletics, golf, mixed martial arts, volleyball, and basketball, among other sports. Also, the number of Filipino-tailored sportsbooks has never been higher. One could easily count the number of sportsbooks operating in the Philippines in the past. With hundreds of online betting sites for Filipinos in existence today, it is a huge task to mention all the betting sites that accept Filipinos.

The many gambling sites create an environment where sport betting bonuses are indispensable. Rather than players jostling for betting sites, betting sites now compete for punters. That's where bonuses come in.

With each betting site wanting to create a client base to sustain its trade, bonuses are seen as the best strategy to wrestle punters from competitors. That's why bonuses seem to be all over the place in the Philippines' betting world.

The massive growth of the betting industry in the Philippines can be attributed to one thing: the internet.

The role of the internet in the Filipino betting industry

With the internet, Filipinos no longer need to go to physical betting joints. The so-called World Wide Web has brought these joints to the bettors' doorsteps, but better still, in the palm of their hands. First was betting on desktops, but today, it is about mobile betting- betting on the go.

With a smartphone, Filipinos can bet wherever and whenever they want, with geography being a non-issue. Unlike back in the day when only a small portion of the Philippines was internet-enabled, the bulk of the country's population has access to the internet today. This makes it possible for bookmakers to access as many citizens as possible, allowing them to bet on the games of their choice.

Betting nowadays in Philippines
Future of betting in Philippines

Future of betting in Philippines

As stated earlier, the betting industry in the Philippines is worth at least $6 billion. Such a big industry must indeed have a future. In recent years, the country has witnessed a surge in betting popularity never witnessed before. It is no surprise no the law betting laws in the country are on the side of bettors. Having said that, the big question is, what does the future hold for the Filipino betting industry?

Well, the future will perhaps be brighter than many people imagine. Here is what the future is projected to look like:

Use of Cryptocurrency

For many years, payment methods such as Visa, Mastercard, and e-wallets (Neteller, PayPal, etc.) have ruled the realms of sports betting in the Philippines. However, that would soon change thanks to cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin. This electronic currency is slowly gathering momentum, with a considerable percentage of sportsbooks already supporting it.

But cryptos come with perks that no bettor can ignore. They are safe and secure, and punters can bet anonymously. The fact that cryptos allow instant transactions is a big plus.

More Mobile-Tailored Gambling

In the future (and it's already happening now), sportsbooks will be optimized for mobile devices. In fact, many of them already have platforms designed exclusively for mobile punters.

Future of betting in Philippines
Betting legislation in Philippines

Betting legislation in Philippines

As this post mentioned earlier, betting was legalized in the Philippines in 1975, the same year PAGCOR was established. All domestic gambling platforms in the Philippines are monitored and regulated by PAGCOR, a state-owned regulatory body.

Offshore gambling platforms are licensed by international bodies, such as the UK Gambling Commission. Hence, betting platforms and betting, in general, are considered legal in the lenses of the Filipino authorities.

It is worthy of mentioning that punters in the Philippines are required to pay taxes on their winnings. The tax amount depends on how much money a punter wins. However, a standard flat tax is imposed on all winnings above PhP 10,000- 20%. All bookmakers in the country have a responsibility to withhold and remit these taxes to the government.

This works especially for locally owned sportsbooks. As for international bookmakers, this can be a challenge since they can decide not to withhold taxes because they are not bound by the Filipino gambling laws. Thankfully, any reputable bookmaker would remit taxes without any push and pull.

Betting legislation in Philippines
Betting Acts in Philippines

Betting Acts in Philippines

Philippine Gambling Acts are meant to govern sportsbooks and protect bettors. As such, there have been amendments and improvements to the 1975 Presidential Decree No. 1067 to achieve this goal. Here are some important Acts and laws that affect the Filipino punters and the entire betting industry in the Philippines.

The 1975 Presidential Decree No.1067

This Act, which was enacted in 1975, created PAGCOR, whose responsibilities have already been mentioned in this post. The law defines what legal gambling in the Philippines is, and it sets out the functions and powers of PAGCOR. Also explained in the Act is how PAGCOR collects and uses revenue from the gambling industry in the country.

The 1978 Presidential Decree No. 1602

This law defines what punishments gambling lawbreakers in the country face. The first section of this law lists all the legal gambling activities in the Philippines, including betting on horse racing, volleyball, football, soccer, pinball, boxing, and basketball.

According to this Act, operating an unlicensed betting platform and betting at one is punishable by fine and imprisonment. Those who inform the authorities of any illegal gambling activities in the country are rewarded.

The 1983 Presidential Decree No. 1869

This is PAGCOR's charter that outlines proper regulation of the Filipino gambling industry. It spells out all the guidelines that PAGCOR follows in authorizing, licensing, and regulating all chance games in the country. Additionally, this decree outlines the legal framework bookmakers follow in obtaining a gambling license.

The 1994 Republic Act 7922

This is the Act under which the so-called Cagayan Economic Zone is founded. This economic zone is located in Cagayan Valley, and it includes the neighboring islands and the Freeport city. This Act contains all the Cagayan Economic Zone's legal information, including legal counsels, auditing, supervision, and compensation.

The Executive Order No. 13

This was enacted in 2017, and it categorically explains what constitutes illegal gambling activity is (gambling not licensed by a reputable body). This law also prohibits Filipino punters from accessing locally owned sportsbooks in the country.

The 2017 Republic Act 10927

This law requires all gambling operators in the country to put in place risk management strategies to prevent Filipinos from the dangers of gambling.

Betting Acts in Philippines
Filipino players' favorite games

Filipino players' favorite games

Favorite sports, teams, and players are part and parcel of any punter. In fact, some people bet mainly on their favorites even though that may not work in their favor. The situation in the Philippines is no different. Citizens here like certain sports more than others. Here are some of their favorites:


Football is what defines the betting landscape of any country. In the Philippines, football is the most popular sport among punters. That's because there are always football matches to bet on, and football match results don't come by pure chance. With proper analysis and strategy, winning a football bet is not difficult at all.

But that's not all because football also presents tens, if not hundreds, of betting markets. Besides match winners, Filipinos bet on the number of goals and corners and whether there will be a red card or not, among other markets.

In addition to football, other punters' favorite sports in the Philippines include horse racing, boxing, golf, rugby, baseball, darts, cricket, American football, basketball, martial arts, and car racing. Esport betting also enjoys considerable popularity in the country.

Filipino players' favorite games
Payment methods in Philippines

Payment methods in Philippines

Online betting is all about depositing funds, placing bets, and cashing out winnings, if any. That calls for a credible payment system that punters can trust. Like elsewhere, Filipino bettors have a wide range of options to deposit and cash out. Some of these methods are local, while others are renowned international payment systems used in hundreds of countries across the world.

Talking of the local payment methods in the Philippines, GCash is undoubtedly the most, with well over 45 million users. However, this payment method is not very popular when it comes to online betting, with only a couple of sportsbooks supporting it.

Alternatives to GCash

Some of the most popular alternatives to GCash include Neteller, Astropay, STICPAY, and Skrill. At least one or more of these methods are available at any Filipino betting site.

Thanks to their low fees, quick payments, and security features, these methods command a great reputation. Skrill, for instance, has been in operation for close to two decades. Standing such a test of time is something that deserves recognition.

Other alternatives include Mastercard and Visa. While many bookmakers may slowly be moving away from these payment methods, Visa and Mastercard are still among the most trusted payment methods anywhere. Thanks to their long-standing reputations, these two still give e-wallets and even Bitcoin a run for their money.

Payment methods in Philippines


Is Sports Betting Legal in the Philippines?

The answer is yes and no. In the Cagayan region, only foreigners are allowed to legally bet online, while the citizens are prohibited. That said, the citizens in all other Filipino regions are legally allowed to gamble as long as such activity meets the requirements and regulations of PAGCOR.

However, they can only gamble at PAGCOR accredited joints rather than their homes. Those who want to bet from the comfort of their homes can do so at licensed offshore sportsbooks.

What Are Some of the Most Popular Sports to Bet on in the Philippines?

The most popular sports for betting in the Philippines include football, rugby, horse racing, tennis, cricket, basketball, and baseball, among other sports.

What Payment Methods Are Popular in at Filipino Sportsbooks?

The most popular payment methods used in the Filipino betting industry include GCash and e-wallets such as Skrill, Neteller, and Astropay. Mastercards and Visa are also an option.

Are Winnings Taxable?

Yes. All punters in the Philippines are required to pay taxes on their winnings. While the tex varies with the winnings, all the winnings above PhP 10,000 attract a flat tax of 20 percent.

What is the Legal Gambling Age in the Philippines?

In the Cagayan region, the legal gambling age is 18. In the rest of the Philippines, Punters must be 21 years to gamble legally.