Is Basketball Betting Legal in the Philippines? Understanding the Restrictions and Risks

Is Basketball Betting Legal in the Philippines? Understanding the Restrictions and Risks

Many Filipinos enjoy watching and rooting for their favorite basketball teams, making it one of the country’s most popular sports. The popularity of betting on basketball games is also rising, with fans placing wagers on games and tournaments. However, before engaging in basketball betting, it is essential to understand the legal framework and regulations that govern this activity in the Philippines.

The Philippines has a long history of regulating gambling, with PAGCOR being the primary regulatory body. The government created PAGCOR in 1977 to oversee and handle all forms of gambling in the country, including casinos, sports betting, and online gambling.

Under Philippine law, gambling is strictly regulated, and only licensed operators can offer gambling services. PAGCOR is responsible for issuing licenses to operators who meet specific criteria, such as financial stability and transparency. All licensed operators must adhere to strict rules and regulations set by PAGCOR to ensure fairness and protect consumers.

The Regulation of Sports Betting in the Philippines

Sports betting is becoming one of the most popular forms of gambling in the Philippines. PAGCOR regulates sports betting, which is legal in the country, provided it is done on licensed premises. It means that betting on basketball games outside of licensed venues is illegal. Using mobile phones and other devices for betting is also not allowed, which means online basketball betting is illegal in the Philippines.

The Restrictions on Basketball Betting

While basketball betting is popular in the Philippines, there are restrictions on this activity. As mentioned, sports betting is only allowed on licensed premises, such as casinos and authorized outlets. It is also worth remembering that certain types of bets may not be allowed, depending on the operator. For instance, some operators may not offer in-play or live betting on basketball games.

The Risks of Unlicensed Basketball Betting

Many Filipinos continue to bet on basketball games using unlicensed bookmakers or offshore online betting sites. However, gambling with unlicensed operators puts consumers at risk of fraud and cheating. These operators are not regulated and may not adhere to the same standards of fairness and transparency as licensed operators. They may also not pay out winnings or refuse to honor bets, leaving consumers with no legal recourse.

Efforts to Legalize and Regulate Online Sports Betting

Recent efforts have been made to legalize and regulate online sports betting in the Philippines. A bill authorizing PAGCOR to issue licenses to online sports betting businesses was passed by the House of Representatives in 2019. The Senate and President have yet to approve the measure. This legislation would allow licensed operators to offer online sports betting services in the Philippines, providing more legal and safe basketball betting opportunities.


Understanding the legal framework and regulations governing basketball betting in the Philippines is essential. Sports betting is legal, but only on licensed premises, and certain types of bets may not be allowed. It’s important to be cautious when betting on basketball games and to ensure you are dealing with licensed and reputable operators. Engaging in unlicensed basketball betting puts consumers at risk of fraud and cheating. Finally, the ongoing efforts to legalize and regulate online sports betting may provide more opportunities for legal and safe basketball betting.

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