"Restriction on E-Sabong offshore betting"

Wed| 11.17.2021 | 7:00 PM

Due to the nature of its gaming operations, online sabong or E-sabong has aggressively risen to fame as a popular form of entertainment especially at these times when various quarantine restrictions have been imposed which limited the people’s choice of activities and form of entertainment.

Cognizant of its detrimental effects if left unchecked, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has instituted a regulatory framework for the E-sabong industry which primarily aims to protect the welfare of Filipino players while ensuring that the government gets its appropriate share of revenues from the gaming operations.

However, despite institution of regulatory policies and controls, certain sectors have expressed their concern on the increasing patronization by the Filipino public of online games, or E-sabong. Of note is the emerging concern on the active participation of our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the said games.

Our regulatory framework provides, in part, that the E-sabong platform shall not accept bets emanating outside the Philippines and shall not be accessible in any way whatsoever outside the Philippines. To ensure that this standard is met, applicants for E-sabong operations are required to submit a certification from a gaming laboratory attesting that the gaming websites are not accessible outside the Philippines and that Internet Protocol (IP) addresses emanating from other countries are blocked or restricted from accessing such websites. To bolster the need to uphold the welfare of our people who may succumb to the ills of irresponsible gaming, the framework further provides for the imposition of administrative penalties to operators who shall fail to comply with set standards and requirements. Hence, offshore betting, or bets coming from players abroad, even if from Filipinos, are not allowed in E-sabong.

With the institution of these controls, PAGCOR is able to ensure that the interests and welfare of our OFWs and their families are upheld and protected.

We are not oblivious however to the fact that certain websites are accessible abroad. These, if any, are illegal websites operating outside the regulatory authority of PAGCOR. However, should any of our licensed operators be caught offering their fights abroad, they shall be meted with the applicable penalties as provided in our regulation. We thus request the public to report to PAGCOR those websites which are accessible abroad for our proper disposition.

We likewise continue to remind the public to observe responsible gaming in engaging online games being offered by licensed operators.

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