The Philippines is lenient regarding gambling as long as Filipinos are responsible gamblers. However, its government is strict regarding the illicit gambling business, both physical and online. Thus it reminds Filipinos to be critical in choosing where to gamble.
To regulate gambling the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) was tasked to regulate and legitimize gambling.
What to Take Note
So far, there are 17 licensed gambling operators in the country. PAGCOR made sure that these authorized betting sites comply with the Know Your Customer verification process to ensure that only qualified players can play.
But because of the meticulous process of PAGCOR, malicious entities found a way to disregard the process — by copying accredited gambling businesses. These fake sites have no regard for the dangers of gambling addiction, which can harm the integrity of the gambling industry.
Among them is OKBET, a local-based sports betting site. It is the current sponsor of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) fourth season, a Pro-Am basketball league.
Since it is a legitimate service provider in the country, it discovered many fake websites disguised as OKBET. These illegitimate sites have copied the platform’s logo, design, and even how it markets its brand.
The company continues to warn its player base and potential members to be critical of where they play. These fake websites can steal players’ data and identities, which they can use for other scams like identity theft and credit card fraud.
To be sure that you are gambling on the genuine OKBET platform, and be responsible players, visit the official website www.OKBET.com.
What are the Laws, and What to Remember?
Some laws would also penalize and imprison violators. Under the Republic Act No. 9287, those who bet on illegal gambling sites will be punished and will be detained for “thirty (30) days to ninety (90) days” and a penalty of up to P6000.
The law was enacted concerning the declaration of Presidential Decree 1602. It aimed to redefine the games that are considered to be illegal, such as jueteng, masiao, and the last two. Pusoy, Tong-its, and e-sabong.
The Philippines also established an acting central authority called the Anti-Illegal Gambling Board. Its scope of power includes, but is not limited to:
- Assist authorities in enforcing R.A. No. 9287.
- Deputize governors, city mayors, and law enforcement agencies to probe suspected illegal number game operators and players.
- Act as the complainant against criminally-charged violators.
- To come up with strategies and programs to eradicate unlawful gambling.
On the other hand, the Philippine Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is authorized by R.A. No. 10927 to require locally-based casino business owners to implement risk management policies and a record of their players for at least five years. The AMLC can also probe suspected operators financing insurgencies or money laundering.
The legal age to gamble is 21.
Gambling is allowed in the Philippines, but with limitations. Also, the government cannot entirely abolish casinos or gambling houses because the industry is the third-leading source of revenue for the nation. Unfortunately, illegal gambling operators are still rampant, which could mean one thing: stricter laws in the coming years.
Legitimate gambling sites need help in addressing concerns about credibility. Thus, people are encouraged to be responsible gamblers and not fall for fake websites that offer ridiculous deals.
A responsible gambling tip: patronize legal betting sites and steer from unauthorized websites.