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House Bill 7689: Pushing to Ban on Online Gambling in the Philippines

May 12, 2023 Philippines Crime & Legal

A bill that would ban all online gambling in the Philippines was just filed by Rep. Ricardo S. Cruz, Jr., a congressman from the Philippines.

According to House Bill 7689, anyone caught running an online gambling website might receive up to a five-year prison sentence in addition to a P500,000 fine or six months in imprisonment for placing bets online. Even stronger penalties, including the same fine, jail time, and expulsion from public office, apply to government officials.

Cruz presented HB 7689 to the committee for study after filing it, although it is unlikely to succeed. Many lawmakers prefer to keep the money stream it generates for the nation open, despite recent calls to abolish Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) licenses that permit online gaming businesses to operate from the Philippines.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), which oversees all offline and internet casinos and sportsbooks in the country, makes about P9 million every day. Pasig City recently banned internet gambling businesses from operating there, yet they are powerless to stop their residents from gambling.

Is it permissible for online casinos to operate in the Philippines?

Yes, both from inside and outside of the Philippines, internet casinos are run legally. Philippine gambling regulations do not prohibit offshore casinos from serving the country, while domestic online casinos are only permitted to operate in the Philippines’ immediate neighbors.

Popular offshore internet casinos that provide players simple banking alternatives are located in the Philippines. Filipino players can take advantage of a variety of funding alternatives, as well as attractive casino and sportsbook bonuses, round-the-clock customer care, and player rewards programs.

What’s the Next Step for House Bill 7689?

Now that HB 7689 is being examined by the House committee, it must pass a vote in order to be sent to the Senate and become law. Since HB 7689 doesn’t appear to have enough support in the house, it is not anticipated that it will pass to the Senate. Despite local laws prohibiting the operation of such sites in their jurisdiction, it is unlikely that all online gambling operations in the Philippines will go out of business in the future.

Many Filipinos are not overly concerned about a measure forbidding online gambling because it would probably only affect how the country operates rather than gambling itself.

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