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Future prospects for gambling in the Philippines

The Philippines makes for an interesting ground for online gambling. For betting purposes, the country has been separated into two different regions: the Cagayan Freeport and the rest of the country. The government-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, or PAGCOR, tightly controls and regulates gambling in the Philippines, with the exception of the Cagayan Freeport. It is PAGCOR that operates all of the land-based establishments in the archipelago and other betting outlets scattered throughout the country. Anyone can enjoy gambling in the Philippines through any of the PACGOR-approved establishments. They can also bet on the internet should they want to. Filipinos are free to visit any PAGCOR terminal.

Online gaming legislation in the Philippines is a little odd, however. It is illegal for local private companies to operate web-based casinos but offshore establishments not connected to the country can offer the service. In other words, two different laws about gambling in the Philippines are at play. There is no law that directly prohibits Filipinos from taking part in internet betting. Several debates have been done regarding the legality of betting on the internet, but in 2012 the court ruled out that no law in the constitution makes internet betting an offense, therefore Filipinos can play wherever they wish. Operators, on the other hand, have to comply with a different rule. Any betting establishment on the internet that is registered in the Philippines is only allowed to accept foreigners. This resulted to PACGOR monopolizing the land-based casinos but having no access to the online market.

The Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport is the only area in the Philippines where PACGOR has no jurisdiction. People simply call this place the "Cagayan Freeport." Here, several private casinos have been put up but they can only accommodate foreigners. The Cagayan Freeport acts as a betting licensing jurisdiction, too, and it is actually the only one in Asia. Getting licensed in the Philippines is quite difficult to have and once you have one, you won't be able to admit locals. Still, the license is valuable. It will open doors so you can reach the wider Asian market, which is an untapped area that has a lot of strong potential.

All licenses are issued by PACGOR and they also monitor the operator's compliance. Any interested party company can apply for a license. It will cost $40,000 and another $48,000 has to be shelled out once you're approved. The license has to be renewed annually to the tune of $60,000. Any legitimate casino can welcome tourists and will definitely benefit from the country's developed internet infrastructure. With the Philippines' strategic position in Asia, it is an attractive base for operations for a company who wants to tap into the Asian market. The licensing agency is strict in terms of game systems and enough funds to cover gamer balances. It has been religiously enforcing the rules. For more information, you can check the PACGOR website or reach them via a phone call.