PACGOR encourages online cockfighting but limits accessibility
So where can I bet?
Online cockfighting has grown substantially in the Philippines as digital currency and accessibility improves for Filipinos.
The Philippines has seen a huge boom with bettors generating approximately P350 million a month in turnover.
Correlating to an increase in bets, is the number of payment methods that bettors are turning to.
Online cockfighting is also known as e-sabong, the colloquial name given in native dialect of Tagalog. Although the Philippine government encourages online gambling, particularly for casino games and sportsbetting, it tends to have a different view for cockfighting.
The official government regulatory of gambling in the Philippines, is The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PACGOR).
Its stance on cockfighting is wildly confusing.
On one hand, Filipinos are legally and permitted to bet at online cockfighting websites, but on the other hand the sites that are accessible are few (limited to a maximum of 12 sites).
In a statement issued by PACGOR on 18 Nov:
e-sabong websites that “accessible outside the Philippines” are deemed to be illegal.
This technically means that the majority of online cockfighting sites are not available to Filipinos since the sites are hosted overseas.
How any Filipino would know whether a site is hosted overseas is near impossible, if not a nuisance, and therefore it’s difficult to understand how players can be held to account if they were to play at an overseas hosted site.
PACGOR’s statement elaborates, by outlining its regulatory framework does not have the authority to monitor (and tax) overseas websites.
And therefore only Philippine hosted sites are legal.
In addition, those sites that are hosted in the Philippines can only accept bets from Filipinos that are physically within the country. This means, no bets can be places from overseas.
As you can see, not only is it restrictive for bettors, but also the e-sabong sites are limited to the local Filipino market.
Illegal but rules are not enforced
Even though PAGCOR has declared overseas hosted cockfighting sites as illegal to locals, they accept that they do not have the ability to enforce the laws.
Their statement therefore included a request for public support to “report to PAGCOR those websites which are accessible abroad”.
Top Cockfighting Betting Sites
There are currently only 7 licensed and operational cockfighting sites within the Philippines. These sites offer a wide range of payment methods that includes GCash, DragonPay and Coins.ph.
The best legal cockfighting sites are therefore hosted in the Philippines and are licensed by PAGCOR. That said, there are many overseas hosted cockfighting sites that offering great betting with real money. These sites will accept Filipinos. Though it may be technically illegal, there is zero risk of any penalties being imposed by the Government.