Why are Philippine Online Casinos Considered International?

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Gambling in the Philippines can be traced back to the 16th century. Even before colonization, Filipinos were already placing bets on different things. So, it’s no surprise that the country quickly joined in on the online casino trend.

But unlike other countries with licensed online casinos, the Philippines operate a little differently. This has led many to classify their casinos as international or offshore casinos.

This is all thanks to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) that offer online casino games to everybody in the world except Filipinos. Making them exclusively international. However, there’s more to why online casino Philippines is considered an international casino, and we’ll be sharing them here.

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Why Philippine Online Casinos are Considered International

Before any online casino can operate in the Philippines, it must obtain a license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). Companies that successfully obtain this license are called Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), and as their name suggests, they only cater to offshore gamblers.

That means they are basically online casinos based in the Philippines but meant for gamblers outside the country’s borders. That’s why they are called international casinos.

Here are some other things about Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

Who Can Play?

Filipinos in the country can play games at a land-based casino provided their annual gross income doesn’t fall short of PHP 50,000 ($1,033). However, they are completely banned from online casinos. So basically, online casinos in the Philippines are not available for Filipinos. But the restrictions don’t not only apply to Filipinos. Foreigners living in the Philippines are also banned from playing online casinos.

Furthermore, Filipinos outside the country are also banned from playing online casino games using POGOs. However, they are free to use other countries’ casinos, even those that accept crypto casino payments.

Who Plays Philippine Online Casinos if Filipinos Don’t Play?

As stated already, POGOs are available to people in other countries, except they’re Filipinos. Also, for the live casino game streams, PAGCOR stipulates that POGOs must have a license from the foreign location where the game will be streamed.

Chinese Nationals are POGO’s main customers. Despite POGOs being banned in China, most of their players are from there; even their marketing and advertisement target the Chinese market.

PAGCOR has continually warned against POGOs operating in jurisdictions where they’re illegal, but there are yet to make any concrete moves to stop them. Currently, they are over 50 online casinos in the Philippines (POGOs) that PAGCOR licenses. It has been reported that there are over 100 unlicensed POGOs.

The Bottom Line

Online gambling in the Philippines is a very large industry. According to Statista, in 2021, the industry generated roughly P113.09 billion in revenue.

But, online casinos in the Philippines are generally known as international casinos, and if you’ve been wondering why that’s so, it’s because they’re licensed to accept players from other countries but not the Philippines. Even Filipinos residing in other countries are not allowed to play online casinos based in their country.

The Chinese are POGO’s biggest users, largely due to online casinos being banned in China and although POGOs are banned in China, too, millions of Chinese gamblers still play online games with them every year.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.