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Online Gambling Regulations Proposed in Philippines

- July 30, 2014 By Oliver Young -

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Lawmaker proposes online gambling regulatory bill in the Philippines to prevent minors from gambling online

Worried that online gambling websites can lure minors to gamble, a partylist legislator in the Philippines has suggested online gambling regulations that would levy big fines to operators that will allow the underaged to gamble on their sites.

An Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) member, Rep. Samuel Pagdilao has introduced the iGaming regulations in the House of Representatives. In his proposal, he suggests jail terms of between five and ten years or fines that go up to 10 million pesos or $230,000 to online gambling operators that knowingly allow minors to gain access to gambling sites.

Under the proposed regulations listed in the Bill 4540, online gambling operators that want to offer gaming products and services on the Internet to Philippine residents would need to be legally licensed though the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). This agency would be responsible of control of regulation, according to Philippine Star.

Why Pagdilao Proposed the iGaming Regulatory Bill

The Philippines is made up of about 7,100 islands. What is interesting about it is that there are too many Internet cafes that are very popular among children and kids under 18. Even though the gaming products offered are not for gambling purposes, there are no current safeguards or penalties that would stop café owners from restricting the underaged from accessing Internet gambling sites.

It is believed that the proposed regulations by Pagdilao would hold responsible the café owners who allow children to sign up and log into online gambling websites.

According to Pagdilao, the introduction of the Internet has opened new horizons and it has changed the way people could take part in gambling. “People that wish to gamble are no longer limited to physical land based casinos. Nowadays they can bet on sports and play online casino games from the comfort of their homes,” said Pagdilao.

Online Gambling in the Philippines

Online gambling is legal both in the main region of the Philippines and the Cagayan Freeport. However, the iGaming sites hosted in the Cagayan region are only open to foreigners. The gambling operators offer the following online gambling services: online casino, sports betting, bingo, lottery, fixed odds etc. There are over 70 Internet gambling sites.

Internet gambling in the rest of the Philippines is run by PAGCOR, but it is not available for home play. The country has more than 200 e-Games Stations also known as PEGS which are Internet casino game parlors where players can gamble online. An exclusive license for iGaming was granted by PAGCOR to a company called Philweb until 2032, but there is no development as of this writing. Therefore, casino fans that want to play online casino games must use offshore online gambling sites.

The population in the Philippines has reached 100 million citizens over the weekend with the birth of a baby named Chonalyn in Manila. The Philippines is one of the fasted growing countries on the Asia continent and it is the 12th most populated country.

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