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PBA Betting: 4 Recent Changes in Online Betting Industry You Should Know

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Bets have always been placed as far back as the beginning of recorded human history. Betting is thought to have been practiced in the Philippines even before the Spanish colonized the country. However, many new developments and the rise of the digital age have shaped and are continuing to shape the many different ways in which Filipinos place bets, most notably on the PBA. In this PBA betting article, we cover a variety of recent online shifts that have occurred in the professional basketball betting sector.

PBA Betting: 4 Recent Changes in the Online Betting Industry You Should Know

PBA Betting: The Regulator of the Philippines Betting Operations

Reports indicate that casinos and other forms of betting have been operating in the Philippines since at least the sixteenth century. Nearly the entire archipelago is home to a wide variety of gaming establishments, both legal and illegitimate. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is a state-owned enterprise that both operates several individual casinos and, in turn, acts as a regulator to privately owned casino operators. This enterprise is responsible for the management of gambling on behalf of the Philippine government. In addition, PAGCOR has been awarding operating licenses and supervising the expansion of an online gaming business that caters to offshore markets from the year 2016. More than twenty casinos may be found in Metro Manila alone, making it a prime location for casino gambling and integrated resorts, both of which have become important aspects of the Philippines' allure as a tourist destination.

PBA Betting: Regulatory Laws

When it comes to operating online betting within the confines of the Philippines, the country's gambling rules are fairly stringent and must be adhered to in full. It is possible for Filipino gamers to access legally sanctioned offshore gambling sites such as legal Philippines online poker sites and legal Philippines online sports betting sites. These sites are located in other countries. The same rules apply to offshore poker sites and sportsbooks, so as long as the gambling sites are not operated within the Philippines, there is nothing illegal about enjoying real money gambling at these destinations. This is because the rules apply to offshore poker sites and sportsbooks in the same way.

The law makes it abundantly clear that it is unlawful for locally licensed online gambling sites to provide their services to people residing within the Philippines. However, these businesses are permitted under the law to provide casino gambling to players located anywhere outside of the Philippines. Players in the Philippines can participate in legal online casino gaming through offshore gambling sites because, thankfully, the legislation does not make it a felony for them to place bets online at the same time. It is not outside of the realm of possibility that the laws may evolve to expand the opportunities for online gambling within the island region of the Philippines; however, there have been no moves in this direction so far. This is even though the gambling industry in the Philippines is currently experiencing a period of unprecedented growth.

PBA Betting: 4 Recent Changes in the Online Betting Industry You Should Know

PBA Betting: Online Changes in Betting Industry

POGOs, which stand for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, are companies that offer a variety of online betting services to customers located in countries other than the Philippines. PAGCOR requires that all POGOs be registered with and given a license from them. Customers in the Philippines cannot access online gambling sites because of a government censorship policy. Registered POGOs in the Philippines has experienced significant expansion as a result of their focus on the Chinese market and their hiring of Chinese personnel. In 2016, the Philippines granted the first licenses to operate POGOs, which coincided with a period of increased control of gaming activities in the Special Autonomous Region of Macau. However, as of June 2019, there were 56 licensed POGOs and an estimated workforce of over 100,000 Chinese citizens in Manila operating in this sector. Although online gambling is still prohibited by Chinese law, there were 56 permitted POGOs.

Rodrigo Duterte, the President of the Philippines, announced that he would work toward shutting down all online gaming businesses in the country in the year 2016. It was later clarified that only those online gambling sites that were not managed and approved by PAGCOR would be shut down and considered illegal. Under Philippine law, online gambling businesses that are managed and approved by PAGCOR are permitted, but the owners, operators, and staff of those businesses may be subject to criminal prosecution in other jurisdictions.

Recently in the Philippines, some businesses that offer offshore sports betting, also known as POGOs, are being shut down. There is a connection between these offshore online gaming hubs and the rise in casino and gambling-related crime in the country. As a consequence of this, there have been calls emanating from within the Philippines for measures to be taken to curb the expansion of POGOs.

PBA Betting: Online Betting and Money Laundering

The INTERPOL definition of money laundering says that it is "any act or attempted act to conceal or disguise the identity of illegally obtained proceeds so that they appear to have originated from legitimate sources. However, money that comes from illegal betting or gambling is regarded as "dirty money". It can be used as proof in money laundering cases. In its International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, which came out in March 2017, the U.S. Department of State said that Criminal groups are already using casinos in the Philippines to move illegal proceeds from the Philippines to offshore accounts, and there are high risks for money laundering in the country's gaming palaces.

The Bangladesh Bank robbery or bank heist, which happened in February 2016, is known as one of the biggest cases of money laundering in the Philippines up to this point. The 81 million dollars that were stolen from the Bangladesh Bank were used to pay for casinos in the Philippines through transfer requests and the SWIFT network. Another 850 million dollars was supposed to be sent to personal bank accounts in the Philippines, but the government stopped this from happening. In 2012, Philippine lawmakers were able to get betting places taken off the list of businesses that have to tell the Anti-Money Laundering Council about suspicious financial activity. In May 2017, though, the Philippine Congress, which is run by President Duterte, changed a law about money laundering to include gambling. Even though the gaming industry tried to stop it, this was done. The proposed law says that operators must send a report to the country's anti-money laundering organization every 24 hours about any bets that add up to more than 3 million pesos (about $60,000).

PBA Betting Conclusion

Since it started and then became popular in the Philippines, betting has been a big part of how the culture and identity of the country have grown. Despite the illegality in the betting industry, the Philippines is quickly becoming one of Southeast Asia's leading gambling hubs.

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