Gambling in the Philippines

Betting in the Philippines was present since the sixteenth century,[1] and is still widespread in the nation today. Presently, it takes on various legal and illegal forms found nearly all over the archipelago. The government handles gambling through the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) which intends to govern and operate games of chance, and also to create government capital,[2] but there are also several other public and private agencies that handles specific forms of betting. Specifically, casino gaming under PAGCOR is necessary to the country’s tourism and earnings. The Philippines has more casinos than Macau, with twenty found in Metro Manila alone.
Before the Spanish colonization.,[1] gaming is thought to have already been within the Philippines. Although there are no exact records when gambling was first practiced in the archipelago, it is possible that a few forms were introduced by the Chinese in the late nineteenth century. Due to the proximity of both countries, many local Chinese would go to the Philippines for business and gain, engaging in various transactions and activities. [4][5] On Magellan’s voyage into the Philippines, it had been mentioned in the accounts of Antonio Pigafetta, that he had already witnessed bets being placed on cockfights when his ship came in Palawan in 1521.

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