Gambling has a long history in the Philippines, dating back to the 16th century. It has evolved over time, with games such as cockfighting, card games, billiards, bingo, lotteries, and horse racing becoming institutionalized and subject to government regulation.
The industry has now expanded to include various stakeholders and remains a popular leisure activity across different socio-economic classes. With the increasing accessibility of the internet and smartphones, more games have become available, leading to the significant growth of the Philippine betting industry.
Like other industries, gambling in the Philippines is heavily regulated and subject to both local policies and principles. In this guide, we’ll cover the country’s online gambling landscape, focusing on its legality, offered games and bonuses, available payment methods, and security. In addition, we’ll also provide some tips and suggestions on how you can compare and pick the right casino and play responsibly at all times.
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Why Go for Online Casino Gambling?
There are several reasons why it’s best to go online when one wants to play casino games.
Highly convenient, accessible across devices
One advantage of going online is convenience and the flexibility that it offers. With offshore licensed casinos, there’s no need to travel or spend long hours on the road just to visit the nearest casino. Just open an account, make a deposit, and start playing your favorite casino games using your preferred device while you stay at home. Most of these games are accessible across devices, with some casinos offering a dedicated online casino app to allow mobile gambling.
In the Philippines, mobile gambling has become more convenient since the major mobile wallets have partnered with PAGCOR-recognized betting sites. Thanks to this arrangement, it’s now more convenient to play and complete payments using a single device.
Rewarding bonuses for all types of players
Playing casino games is more exciting thanks to a wide array of bonuses and promotions that players can win and join. Players can earn casino bonuses at different points during their stay at the gambling site. What’s exciting about these promotions is that you can get a bonus upon registration, when making a deposit, when reloading an account, or even by playing specific games!
Among these bonuses, the most popular and potentially lucrative is the Welcome Bonus. It’s a promotion for new bettors who register and make that first deposit. Other exciting promos to check are the No Deposit Bonus, Free Spins, Reload, and Cashback. In addition, you’ll also VIP or Loyalty Programs that reward the bettors for signing up and playing the games.
Diverse games selections
Finally, it’s always a better choice to play at casinos thanks to their diverse game selection. In betting sites, players can explore and enjoy a wide range of games from top vendors and suppliers. Online slots are more colorful and they’re offered in different themes and paylines, and you’ll also find different variants for blackjack, poker, and baccarat.
Live dealer games are available
Don’t worry if you’re missing the excitement of playing a card game against a human dealer. Online betting sites get it covered with their live casino technology. In a live casino format, you can directly play against a human dealer or croupier in real time even if you’re staying at home. Live casino games are made possible thanks to the use of dedicated tables, streaming technology, and multiple cameras.
Online betting sites continue to reshape the gambling industry for the better. They offer a better and more exciting gambling experience for players, and this option is available for players residing in the Philippines.
But before you register an account and jump into real money gambling, we encourage you to study and review your options.
Although there are dozens, if not hundreds of casinos that are ready to welcome you, not all sites are created equal. Some of these sites are always better, safer, and more exciting than the rest. So, we encourage you to read on, and explore our guide to discover tips on how to find the best casinos and play responsibly at all times!
Best online casino sites – A quick look at our review process
Thanks to its increasing popularity and improvements in technology, players can now find dozens if not hundreds of sites that accept real money bets from Philippine players. However, we don’t recommend jumping into the first casino that you’ll encounter online. Not all of these sites are created the same, and some gambling operators are always better than others.
We understand the need to play at the best casinos and enjoy gambling responsibly. As such, we have created this guide for new players and those looking for more information and tips. In listing and reviewing the betting websites, we always consider a few factors, including the following:
Available Games to Play
One crucial consideration is the games selection offered by the gambling site. We review the available online slots, table games, poker, and instant win games.
We also consider the software vendors and studios that offer these games.
Casino Bonuses and Promos
There are different types of casino bonuses, and we review these offers and check their T&Cs.
The types of banking options available also affect the player's overall gambling experience.
In addition, we consider if these betting sites support local payment options including GCash, PayMaya, and GrabPay.
Player's Security and Safety
Players' safety and welfare are crucial when gambling in real money. Safety is an important concern, and always review the remote license, use of encryption, and the operator's commitment to safety.
Operators should be transparent when it comes to the available contact options. In addition, we ask if the support is available 24/7 or if Live Chat is possible.
Responsible Gambling Initiatives
Playing responsibly is now a crucial requirement when gambling online. As part of our review process, we ask the tools and resources available for players that can help then play responsibly.
Gambling online is both exciting and potentially rewarding, but there are some risks to manage, too. In this guide, we help you make sense of all the available options and offer some tips. Read on as we describe each factor and explain why it’s an important consideration when choosing a betting site.
Legality of Online Casinos in the Philippines
For decades, gambling in the Philippines has been heavily regulated. The main government agency that oversees gambling is the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation or PAGCOR, a government-owned and controlled corporation that regulates gambling, sets policies for operators and stakeholders and also runs several casinos. The Corporation was created by then President Ferdinand Marcos by virtue of a Presidential Decree (PD1067-A) with an aim to put a stop to the growth of illegal casino operations during the time. The law was later amended and consolidated through PD 1869 or the PAGCOR Charter.
PAGCOR as the primary licensing entity
As part of its charter, PAGCOR grants licenses and regulates the growing online gambling industry serving the offshore markets. In addition, it also monitors and regulates the growing number of casinos and integrated casino resorts in different parts of the country.
First Cagayan also awards licenses for casinos
In addition to PAGCOR, there’s also the Cagayan Special Economic Zone that helps in regulating gambling in the country. Both corporations handle the licensing and regulation of physical casinos, with PAGCOR regulating both physical and online betting sites. Under the current laws, online gambling sites operating and licensed in the Philippines are not allowed to offer their betting services to Filipino bettors. Their approved licenses only allow them to offer their gambling services to players outside of the country.
So, can Filipino bettors residing in the country enjoy online gambling?
Although the law restricts local bettors’ access to online gambling services offered by locally licensed casinos, they can still access offshore licensed casinos. These are betting sites that operate with approved remote licenses from other countries, with Curacao, Costa Rica, and the United Kingdom as the most popular jurisdictions.
In fact, there’s this 2012 case where the Court of Appeals ruled that internet gambling is included in the list of illegal acts that are punishable under PD No. 1602. This means that Filipinos can also enjoy the services offered by Philippines online gambling sites, provided these are located outside the country and licensed offshore.
Casino Games to Play in the Best Online Casinos
One of the advantages offered by a casino in the Philippines is the diversity of games offered. In most brick-and-mortar casinos found in the Philippines or even outside the country, the types of games that are playable in real money are predictable. Once you visit these sites and explore the facilities, you’ll encounter a familiar set of gaming options that include slot machines, poker and baccarat tables, roulette, and blackjack.
Depending on the operator, you’ll so find VIP rooms for high-stakes poker, blackjack, and baccarat. Bingo rooms are also common in many casinos and integrated hotels and resorts. While these games are entertaining and potentially lucrative, the selection doesn’t compare to what online betting sites in the Philippines currently offer.
In offshore licensed casinos, you’ll find a diverse selection of casino games that are available in different variants, and these are offered by popular software vendors and studios. Since these operators don’t need to worry about overhead expenses like rent and electricity, they end up investing more in their game portfolios. Some of the popular game categories you can play at top casinos are online slots, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, poker, and even live casino.
As a player, it’s important to review the available games to play in a casino so you can save time and have fun. In looking for casinos, look for those that offer standard games such as online slots, roulette, and other table games.
Online slots are arguably the most popular casino games to play online. Inspired by the mechanical slot machines found in pubs, bars, and physical casinos, online slots are basic yet colorful games where you bet on the random outcome of a ‘spin’. Instead of mechanical reels and levers, online slots are now software-based and rely on a Random Number Generator or RNG to determine the outcomes. The player aims to spin the reels, and if symbols match in an active payline, he wins a payout!
These games come in different themes, reels, and payline configurations, and rely on colorful paying symbols. In addition, online slots come in different types, with the classic slot or 3-reel slot, video slots, and progressive jackpot slots as the most popular. The 3-reel or classic slot is based on the fruit machines found in pubs and casinos, with fruits, bells, and Lucky 7s as the primary paying symbols.
In addition, these games come with a 3-reel format, which means you can win by landing three matching symbols in one line. The video slots, on the other hand, are modern versions of slot machines with varying payline configuration and boasts exciting themes and bonuses.
Finally, the progressive jackpot slots are exciting variants of the game which offer jackpots that grow in size. Some of the best jackpot slots in top casinos are Mega Moolah and Mega Moolah Isis by Microgaming and Divine Fortune by Netent.
Roulette is a classic table game that traces a long and rich history. This is a casino game that dates back to 18th century France, and its name roughly translates to ‘little wheel’. Traditional roulette comes with two components, the betting table and the wheel with segments. In roulette, bettors bet on the outcome of the random spin of the wheel.
Today, roulette is also a popular offering in most casinos online and it’s also available in different variants. Some of the leading roulette variants to play are French Roulette, American Roulette, and European Roulette. Whatever roulette variant you play, the gameplay remains the same: you wager on the outcome of the spin of the roulette wheel.
In addition to roulette, casinos may also feature blackjack games. Like roulette, blackjack is a classic casino game and it traces its roots to Vingt-Un, a casino banking game popular in French casinos during the 17th century. In this card game, the players receive two to three cards and aim to beat the dealer with a value of 21 or close to it. Blackjack is played against the dealer and if you go over the 21, you bust and lose the game.
Like roulette, blackjack is available in different variants with Single Deck Blackjack, Atlantic City Blackjack, and European Blackjack as the most popular. In addition, players can also enjoy live dealer blackjack games. Most of these live dealer blackjack games are from Evolution Gaming, Pragmatic Play, and Ezugi.
Baccarat is another classic casino game and one that evokes images of exclusivity and sophistication. A popular game featured in many James Bond movies, baccarat is a simple card game where you bet on either the Player, Banker, or a Tie to win. Playing cards assume specific values, with the cards from 2 to 9 retaining their face values, and the royals and tens, assigned a zero. Aces, on the other hand, get a score of one.
Poker is another popular casino game with several variations. In this exciting and challenging game, the player aims to form the strongest five-card hand at the end of the betting rounds. There are several betting rounds in poker and in each round, the player may call, raise, fold, or check depending on the hand value. The last betting round is called a ‘showdown’ and here, the remaining players compare the best hands based on the list of hand rankings. Poker is available in different variants, and some of the popular ones are Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hold’em and No Limit Hold’em.
In a live casino format, you play against a human dealer in real-time. When operators advertise a live casino, it’s simply a more exciting and realistic way of playing games against a human dealer with the help of streaming technology, a dedicated table and studio, and multiple cameras. In many casinos online, you will find live dealer formats for blackjack, baccarat, and roulette.
In addition, some operators may also list gameshow from top software vendors such as Evolution Gaming. Evolution is the leading supplier of live casino games and it boasts an impressive portfolio that includes Live Roulette, Live Blackjack, Live Baccarat, and exciting gameshows such as Lighting Roulette, Deal or No Deal, and Dream Catcher.
Availability of Casino Bonuses and Promotions
When playing online, it’s also crucial that you consider the availability of casino bonuses and promotions. Bonuses and promotions are exciting offers in top casinos, and their presence or absence can make or break your gambling experience. Casino bonuses are marketing tools used by operators to reward players for signing up for an account, depositing funds, or by performing other specific actions on the website. These are highly popular since they can help boost the player’s bankroll, and also allow players to join some contests or play some qualifying games risk-free.
Some of the best casino bonuses to check today are the Welcome Bonus, No Deposit Bonus, Free Spins, Cashback, and Reload Bonus, among others. Here’s a quick look at the differences between these casino bonuses that you may encounter online:
The Welcome Bonus is a bonus awarded to new players who sign up for an account and makes the first deposit. It’s often packaged as a deposit bonus with free spins on qualifying games. For example, one operator may offer a 100% deposit match bonus of up to Php 5,000 with 100 free spins!
No Deposit Bonus
As the term suggests, a no-deposit bonus doesn’t require a qualifying deposit. You can earn this bonus by completing the registration process, or by confirming your account by adding your mobile number.
Free spins are exciting casino bonuses that give players the chance to play qualifying games risk-free. You can collect free spins upon signup, when joining contests, or when completing specific tasks on the platform.
A cashback works like a rebate where you get back a portion of what you have wagered or lost in a casino. For example, a casino may offer a 10% cashback up to Php 500. With this offer, you get back 10% of what you have lost by playing the games, up to a maximum of Php 500.
A reload bonus rewards players for every additional deposit made on the account. Like the new customer bonus, this promotion is expressed as a percentage, with an amount limit. For example, the casino may give you a 50% Reload Bonus up to Php 1000.
In addition to these standard bonus offers, there are other exciting casino promotions that players must know about. For example, you may find slot contests and tournaments, VIP Programs, or a Refer a Friend promotion. In our review and coverage of the gambling industry, we check what bonuses are available on each betting site, and how lucrative these are for the players. In addition to the type of bonus and amount, our team also compares bonuses on their applicable Terms and Conditions.
A memorable and stress-free gambling experience is possible if the casino boasts a long list of trusted and reliable payment options. It’s crucial to know the available payment methods at the casino since you’ll be making deposits and requesting withdrawals. In comparing Philippine casinos, it’s best to look at the list of banking options and the Cashier policies, including fees and processing times.
Mobile wallets like CGash and PayMaya
As a player, it’s logical to find a casino that supports banking options that are familiar to you and readily available. In the Philippines, the most common payment options are local bank transfers and e-wallets such as GCash, PayMaya, and GrabPay. These mobile wallets are free to use and sign up for an account is easy. To register, just download the app and complete the registration process by providing your complete name, address, and other information. Within minutes, you can now top-up your account and start using your wallet to play at your preferred betting sites.
Local bank transfers
Casinos that accept bets from Philippine players can also deposit funds through local bank transfers. There are several local banks that allow payments to gambling sites including UnionBank and RCBC. You need to have an account with these banks before you can successfully send your deposits or request payments.
Review the Cashier’s T&Cs
In addition, it’s also crucial to review the Cashier policies and deposits. You only want to register and play at a casino that features fast processing times for both deposits and withdrawals. In comparing top casinos, we test how fast the deposit is, and check the waiting times for withdrawals. On average, most top casinos will credit your deposits within minutes or even instantly.
For withdrawals, the process can take some time depending on your banking option. For example, withdrawals through GCash and PayMaya may take a few minutes to one day, and bank transfers may take up to seven business days.
Security and Safety
Your safety and security should also be a concern when gambling online. Remember, you’re sharing your information and wagering real money so you want to play a website that invests in players’ welfare and protection. In our review, we look at the operator’s commitment to players’ welfare and test the site’s services for their adherence to security and safety checks.
Check the remote license
One crucial factor that we consider in our reviews is the presence of a remote license, registration, and other industry certifications. In the Philippines, most sites that cater to international bettors are licensed by PAGCOR and First Cagayan. The brick-and-mortar casinos here are registered and monitored by PAGCOR. There are a few casinos in the Philippines that also cater to Filipinos, but these are strictly regulated by the same government agency.
But most offshore licensed casinos that accept bets from Filipino players, are licensed and registered remotely. Some of the popular licensing jurisdictions are Curacao, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, and the Isle of Man.
Review the operator’s industry certifications
In addition to remote licenses, industry certifications like the ones from eCOGRA and third-party companies that test the RNG can also help us in determining the safety of a gambling platform. In reviewing casinos, we also consider how well these operators protect players’ data and money. For this, we check the casino’s use of modern 128-SSL encryption or the lack of it.
In choosing casinos, it’s best tocheck the list of customer support channels at the players’ disposal. There will be times when you will encounter technical issues when playing casino games, or some delays or problems when requesting payments. Since these can happen anytime, it’s best that the casino has different contact channels you can use.
All top-notch casinos for local bettors offer a wide array of contact options, with Live Chat, email, and FAQs sections as the most popular. Players also need to consider the operator’s responsiveness in answering players’ queries. If possible, look for casino operators that respond to questions within minutes and offer 24/7 Live Chat support.
Responsible Gambling Initiatives
Online gambling is fun, and there’s always a huge chance that we may end up enjoying the games too much, and we may lose track of time and money spent. For these reasons, we need to find online casinos that balance the need to market these games and protect the players’ welfare. So in comparing and reviewing online casinos, we also consider the operator’s commitment to Responsible Gambling initiatives.
Responsible Gambling is a concept that sees these games simply for fun and entertainment’s sake. Gambling only becomes problematic when players see it as a source of income, or when they play and wager beyond limits.
Right now, this is a campaign for all licensed and regulated casinos. As part of the review process, we check if the casino has a Responsible Gambling section on its website, and look at all the available tools and resources for players that can help them play responsibly. Some of the top tools to use to stay within limits are Self Exclusion, Deposit Limits, and Time and Session Limits.
Playing at an online gambling site is more convenient, exciting, and offers plenty of ways to win. Online betting sites are better than their brick-and-mortar counterparts for several reasons which we already covered here. These websites feature a more diverse game selection, and more rewarding bonuses, and they integrate Responsible Gambling tools that help you play responsibly. Also, online gambling is truly convenient too. By signing up for an online gambling account, you can enjoy premium games anywhere, across devices.
But to fully enjoy online gambling services, it’s always better to practice due diligence. As a responsible player, it pays to read, compare, and assess sites before you pick one. And this is where our team and this website can help you: as industry experts and experienced players, we review and test these betting sites for you so you can focus on what’s more exciting- to play and win games responsibly!
Frequently Asked Questions
These are websites that allow players the chance to play different games for real money payouts. The operator works with software and game providers to host these games and ensure that the results of the virtual games are fair and transparent.
Casinos are still growing in popularity because they offer convenience, flexibility, and lots of winning potential to players. In addition, online gambling sites allow bettors to access the sites and play games across devices.
Online games run using software to generate visual images and impressive gameplay on the screen. These games are real in the sense that they also provide the same entertainment, and follow the same rules and gameplay. More importantly, they’re real because they produce truly random outcomes thanks to the use of RNG software.
You need to sign up and top-up your account before you can play in real money.
Yes, playing at casinos online is legal in the Philippines. Casinos that are licensed in the Philippines can only accept bets from foreigners. In recent rulings, these casinos can now accept bets locally. In addition, players from the Philippines can sign up and register at offshore licensed casinos.
In a traditional casino setup, the casino dealer is the person who directs and oversees the flow of the games. For example, in blackjack or baccarat, the dealer is the one who shuffles and deals with the cards. Casino dealers also work for online betting sites, particularly in running the live casino section.
Yes, playing at an online casino using gcash is possible in the Philippines. GCash, like PayMaya, has partnered with top betting sites to allow players a seamless integration of their mobile wallet and casino account. By using GCash for payments, you can enjoy fast and secure payments at all times.
Casinos and game studios use RNG software to ensure the fairness of casino games. To stay on the safe side, we highly recommend playing at licensed casinos with RNG certifications from recognized third parties. Licensed and registered casino operators are mandated by the law to protect players’ welfare and use RNG for their games.
There are dozens if not hundreds of casinos that accept bets from players in the Philippines. However, not all of these sites deliver the same quality of games and promotions. To ensure safety and a satisfying casino experience, we recommend checking out our reviews and list of top casinos for Filipinos on this website.
In theory, all winnings in betting sites, whether from onshore or offshore betting, are also subject to taxes. The Department of Finance has previously stated that the tax treatment for physical gambling also applies to online gambling, as long as this operator is a PAGCOR licensee.
Casino games like online slots, table games, and poker are at the heart of the operations of casinos. As such, operators strive to provide legit and truly fair casino games. You’ll know that these are legit because licensed casinos use RNG to ensure the transparency and fairness of gaming outcomes.
Yes, casino bonuses are worth it and we highly encourage players to find the best bonuses with friendly T&Cs. Some of the best casino bonuses for beginners are the Welcome Bonus, No Deposit Bonus, and Free Spins. These are exciting offers for players since they can boost the bankrolls, and give you plenty of chances to play some qualifying games risk-free.
A Single Deck Blackjack is the game with the lowest house edge, thus offering players with the highest chances of winning. With a 0.5% house edge, players can still lower this figure by using a basic blackjack strategy. But if you’re looking for a casino game that’s easy and fun to play with huge win potential, you can’t go wrong with online slots. Here, you just set your wager, click ‘Spin’, and if you land at least three matching symbols, you win!