The gambling law in the Philippines is primarily governed by Republic Act No. 9287, also known as the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Charter. Here are the key aspects of the gambling law in the Philippines:
- Regulatory Body: The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is the primary regulatory body responsible for overseeing and regulating gambling activities in the country. PAGCOR operates under the Office of the President and has the authority to issue licenses, regulate and monitor gaming operations, and collect revenue from the industry.
- Authorized Gambling Activities: PAGCOR is authorized to operate and license various forms of gambling activities, including:
- Casinos: PAGCOR operates several land-based casinos in the Philippines, known as “PAGCOR Casinos.” It also grants licenses to private operators to establish and operate casinos in designated areas, such as Entertainment City in Manila.
- E-Games Cafes: PAGCOR regulates electronic gaming or e-games cafes that offer electronic versions of casino games, such as slots, poker, and other electronic table games.
- Online Gambling: PAGCOR also grants licenses to online gambling operators. These licenses are limited to offshore-based online gambling companies that cater to foreign players and do not allow local residents to participate.
- Bingo and Other Gaming Activities: PAGCOR regulates and licenses bingo operations, as well as other gaming activities such as sports betting, lottery, and off-track betting on horse racing.
- Jurisdiction and Local Regulation: While PAGCOR holds the authority for licensing and regulating gambling activities at the national level, local government units (LGUs) also have the power to regulate gambling within their respective jurisdictions. LGUs can impose their own regulations, such as zoning restrictions and licensing requirements, for gambling establishments.
- Anti-Illegal Gambling Laws: The Philippines also has laws in place to combat illegal gambling activities. The Revised Penal Code and other related laws impose penalties for illegal gambling, including fines and imprisonment.
- Responsible Gambling: PAGCOR promotes responsible gambling practices and requires operators to implement measures to prevent and address gambling-related problems. This includes providing information on responsible gambling, self-exclusion programs, and support for individuals seeking help for gambling addiction.
It’s important to note that the gambling landscape in the Philippines is subject to ongoing changes and developments. Therefore, it is advisable to refer to the latest laws, regulations, and guidelines from PAGCOR for the most up-to-date information on gambling in the country.
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