eSports betting websites in the Philippines – regulation and laws

The Philippines is one of the most interesting gambling markets in the world. They have a very odd division of the country into two regions that govern online and offline gambling in their own way.

The first region has imposed quite a strict regulatory framework for all types of gambling, which includes eSports betting websites in the Philippines. This region is tightly controlled by the PAGCOR (Philippines Amusement and Gambling Corporation), which is a state-owned entity but isn’t considered as an institution, but rather a hybrid of a private and state-owned enterprise.

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This region is the largest one out of the two. Therefore the majority of the country’s population has to comply with the PAGCOR regulations. For example, all types of gambling venues, such as offline casinos, online slots, eSports betting sites in the Philippines need to have a dedicated license from the entity in order to be deemed legal.

online eSports betting philippines

Although the offline casinos have all the right to cater to the local population, online casinos are restricting to featuring Filipino customers. This is quite similar to the regulations in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. All online gambling platforms are required to grab a license from the regulator, but they are forced to only support foreign customer bases.

Basically, this regulation was installed by PAGCOR to institute a local monopoly of offline casinos. But what they didn’t account for was the sheer number of foreign sportsbooks and online slots that wanted to enter their local market.

Locals are welcome to play at approved PAGCOR locations and online for some forms of gambling. Filipinos can also visit any of the numerous PAGCOR betting terminals across the country and are free to gamble online at offshore websites.

Citizens themselves will not be held accountable if they gamble on a locally registered betting website though. There was actually a court hearing about this in the past, where no such wording was found in the law, that the customers themselves need to be punished. Therefore, if you do find yourself accidentally playing on a local operator’s platform, you can rest easy, knowing that no legal action will be taken against you.

But it’s still best to go for a foreign eSports betting websites that have regulation in the Philippines from the beginning.

eSports betting in the Philippines Cagayan

eSports betting PhilippinesThe second region in the country is called the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZF).

Although the CSEZF does not fall under the PAGCOR regulation, they still force their local offline casinos to only cater to tourists. Therefore, you’d say that the regulation in this region is the other way around in some sense.

When it comes to eSports betting websites in Cagayan, they are very similar to the main PAGCOR region. If a company gets a license here to operate online, they are still forbidden from offering its platform to locals. However, they get much better exposure to the Asian and Oceania regions, which are rich with willing customers.

How eSports betting works in the Philippines

When it comes to eSports betting as an industry, it pretty much falls either under the PAGCOR system or the Cagayan system. It is indeed regarded as a sports betting activity and not a fantasy betting activity, which means that it takes the brunt of the regulation.

As already mentioned above, if you ever encounter a Filipino website offering your eSports betting options, it’s best to avoid it if you are Filipino yourself. Although nothing will be held against you in legal terms if you register there. The one problem would be that if you are found out, you’ll have to withdraw all of your funds, and maybe even give up the winnings.

The eSports betting websites in the Philippines that are operational, or the ones that hold a PAGCOR or Cagayan license, are forced to look for customers offshore, which creates a very competition based industry.

Although it may seem that competition between the platforms is a detriment for the customer, it actually covers a lot of benefits.

In order for the Filipino eSports betting website to make you register with them, they’ll need to somehow convince you they’re better than others right? How will they do this? Through bonuses, additional funds, better betting options and much higher odds. Overall, it’s quite healthy for the user themselves.

But are there other options for betting on eSports? Is it possible to do it offline in the Philippines? Yes!

Offline eSports betting in the Philippines

There are not too many casinos in the Philippines that offer eSports betting at the moment, but several have already mentioned that they are considering to add some of the most popular games on their lists. Most of these options will be found with Casinos that feature traditional sports betting options.

Although it is a great alternative to betting on eSports, it’s definitely not the best. Having to wait in lines, use cash as your deposits and overall, have to travel to a specific casino, could defeat the whole purpose of eSports betting in the Philippines. It’s eSports, electronic sports and not traditional sports. The best way to do it is online.

The eSports scene in the Philippines

The Philippines is experiencing the so-called “gaming fever”, which is basically the point where gaming becomes one of the most widespread hobbies in the country.

Yes, finally, gaming has been recognized as a real hobby and not a waste of time. You know why? Because there are millionaires walking on the earth who earned their fortune by dedicating most of their lives to playing those games. Most of these people were South Koreans, and their influence on the global eSports scene cannot be denied.

Although eSports is not nearly as popular in the Philippines as it is in South Korea, it is quickly gaining momentum, and actually resembles SK in its process of doing so.

eSports philippines

The two largest tournaments in the Philippines were held in 2016, both covering Dota 2, but the scene has quickly covered games such as League of Legends, Overwatch and Hearthstone. More and more young Filipinos are starting to dream about the eSports star lives.

According to a survey, which was conducted in around 545 internet cafes in Manila. Nearly 60% of the internet cafe users are under the age of 19, but that still leaves around a million players who are of legal betting and professional playing age. The survey also concluded that most players start their Internet Cafe “adventures” when they reach the age of 16, and dedicate at least 10 hours to it, if their study schedules permit it.

Needless to say, much like South Korea, the Philippines is nothing but an eSports team factory. And it shows. Dozens of Filipino teams have competed on global tournaments for League of Legends, Dota 2 and even CS: GO.

eSports games to bet on in the Philippines

As already mentioned above, there are dozens of Filipino teams you can follow and cheer, but there are even more of them when it comes to eSports bets. You see, the local eSports professionals have covered nearly every single game that is considered an eSport. They include but are not limited to:

  • League of Legends
  • Dota 2
  • Starcraft II
  • CS: GO
  • Warcraft III
  • Call of Duty
  • Overwatch
  • Fortnite
  • PUBG
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • FIFA

Due to the fact that most of these games carry really nice odds, especially CS: GO, you are clear in terms of variety. Nearly every game is accessible for a Filipino eSports betting enthusiast.

Let’s now find out how you should find a place to make those bets in the first place.

How to find an eSports betting website in the Philippines

Let’s go back to the regulation paragraph for a bit and dissect it into more understandable pieces. As you remember, an online betting operator that is based in the Philippines does not have the right to offer its services to the local population.

Although you may still register on the website and no legal charges will be put forward against you. But, it may cost you your deposit and overall winning over the course of time you were playing with them.

Therefore, it’s much better to go for foreign eSports betting websites. The best ones you can find are regulated and licensed by the Malta Gamblin Authority, or the UK Gambling Commission. These may be Europe based, but they operate 24/7 and cover Asian leagues and tournaments as well. Therefore you won’t be missing out on anything.

 

But how do you choose the best and safest one of them all? How do you make your eSports betting experience as best as it can be in the Philippines? Well, here’s a list:

  • Check the website’s regulation
  • Double-check it with the regulator
  • Make sure they are an eSports-focused platform
  • Check their betting options and odds
  • Make sure they have third-party payment.

Now here’s why you should go through all of that work.

The regulation and license

 

Much like a license is required in the Philippines, it is also required pretty much anywhere else to operate an eSports betting website. The best ones are located in Malta and the UK, so that’s why I suggested them. The license gives you a heads up that the operator can be trusted and will not try to steal your deposit or, refuse to give you your earnings.

You can always see the website showcase their license and regulation information on the footer of the webpage. If it isn’t there, then try the FAQ section. Make sure to take note of the company name and the license number, as well as the registration number and address.

Philippines eSports betting websites

If there is no license information on the website, then it is a topic of concern, as the operator may be hiding something. It’s best to avoid them regardless if they have it or not. They must always display it in clear view of the visitor.

Once you’ve noted the company name and license number, it will be time to visit the regulator’s website. A simple google search will do the trick. Once you get to the website, paste in the name or license number in the search bar for companies. It should display the result clearly. If there is no information about the company, then most likely they’ve lied to you about their regulation, and you can promptly leave their platform.

If you do find the license though, make sure it says “licensed” or “active”. If it does, then it will be time to double-check with the regulator themselves. Call them up and ask them to confirm this company. This needs to be done because some regulators forget to update their databases. Therefore, a seemingly licensed company may have had their license revoked at some point and you won’t find out until its too late. Once all of that has been confirmed, the next stage of the review begins.

Make sure that the website is eSports-focused

Most of the websites you find will be hybrids, between traditional sports and eSports, which is fine. What’s not fine is then the website has more traditional sports betting options than eSports betting options.

This can cause the company to focus more on sports rather than eSports, leading to terrible odds for the matches and tournaments. As long there are more eSports games available on the platform, it’s safe to bet with.

Check the odds and options

The betting sphere has what you’d call “industry standards”, which means that every company needs to strive to have a similar feature. One of those features are the odds. As long as the website is able to offer you odds of 5.0 and above, then its worth to invest your time with them.

Imagine if you’re looking at two different websites and one has 5:0 odds, while the other has 2:0. Which one would you choose? The first one right? Because its the same risk, but higher reward.

Payment options

Every eSports betting website needs to provide third-party payment options. These options are as follows:

  • Skrill
  • PayPal
  • Bitcoin
  • Paysafe
  • Much Better

There are much more, but these five are the essentials. You’ll need these due to bank transaction monitoring. If your bank sees that you’re spending money on gambling, it may be reluctant to give you a loan in the future. Therefore it’s best to be safe wherever possible.

 

And that’s it! That’s all you need to know before you commit to your first bet. All you need to do is research the company’s license, and make sure they are up to industry standards highlighted above.