Casinos have been popular in the Philippines since the 1970s, and most of them are run by the government-controlled Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). The organisation operates the majority of casino hubs in the Philippines, and is the only licensing authority regulating casinos available for Filipinos.
There is only one competitor to the casino licensing monopoly of PAGCOR, and this is the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, which operates in the north-eastern tip of the country. These casinos are governed by special rules and operate under their own special licences. They were first established in 1995, when they were aimed exclusively at foreign hotel guests. Since then, however, the laws have slightly relaxed and these casinos now cater to all hotel guests, including Filipinos. Nonetheless, they are still off-limits to local residents.
The Online Casino Industry in the Philippines
The online casino Philippines industry is as popular as its land-based counterpart, and online casinos are provided by both the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport casinos. Since licensing is offered within the Philippines, it makes it the only country in Asia to legally license online casinos.
Nonetheless, the online casino industry in the Philippines is slightly different than elsewhere in the world. This is because the PAGCOR and Cagayan Freeport online casinos operate very differently.
The PAGCOR Online Casinos
PAGCOR online casinos are not available for home play and are available exclusively through internet casino game parlours, also referred to as e-Game stations. Filipinos visiting these parlours can access a variety of online casinos games, and they often include legal sports betting outlets.
The existence of these internet casino game parlours slightly changes the experience of online casinos. While elsewhere in the world, online casinos are popular due to the convenience and flexibility they create for the players, allowing players to access them from the comfort and convenience of their own homes and at any time of their choosing, these benefits are made obsolete with the necessity of travelling to an internet casino game parlour.
The Cagayan Freeport Online Casinos
The online casinos offered by the Cagayan Freeport organisation are more in line with online casinos in the rest of the world. Nonetheless, it seems to make no difference whether or not they are situated in the Philippines, as the Cagayan Freeport online casinos are not allowed to take bets from the Philippines.
There are a few dozen casino operators registered within and operating out of the Cagayan Freeport casino district, and licenses are continuously granted, but these casinos are only open to foreign players, and they mostly constitute large international casino websites.
It seems then that, even though online casinos are legal in the Philippines, the experience of online casinos for Filipino players is somewhat different than the experience players in the rest of the world get. However the option to access top class offshore casinos is always open and many Philippines players prefer to seek out their favourite games at some of the worlds biggest and best gaming destinations.