Philippine President Reluctantly Approves Online Cockfighting Games

Updated On Mar 18, 2022 by Petar Markoski


  • Online cockfighting games continue to be very popular in the Philippines
  • President Duterte has reluctantly approved e-sabong as it brings in big money
  • PAGCOR will continue to oversee e-sabong

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed that the Philippine Games and Amusement Corp. (PAGCOR) would continue regulating e-sabong (online cockfighting). However, Duterte expressed his unwillingness for round-the-clock gambling. He added that Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) and e-sabong are allowed to operate as their revenues funded the government’s economic recovery and pandemic response.

Duterte made the remarks in a recent cabinet meeting. He attributed his reluctance to his reservations against gambling and the government’s failure to shield minors from gambling addiction. Duterte dissuaded legislators urging for a ban on e-sabong, saying that he has to allow it as the government has no money. He reasoned that revoking the licences of e-sabong companies would be ineffective as the games would be held illegally.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said in October 2021 that tax collections from POGOs might touch P76.2 billion in 2022-2023. The amount will surpass the collection in 2020, which was P7.18 billion, according to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay said that Pogo collections have increased from P6.42 billion in 2019 and P2.36 billion in 2018.

PAGCOR chairperson Andrea Domingo highlighted the agency’s regulatory fees collection from the seven licensed e-sabong companies. Domingo said that PAGCOR might collect up to P8 billion in 2022. PAGCOR already raked in P1.375 billion from January to mid-March this year. PAGCOR took over the regulation of e-sabong from 2021 and since then has collected P3.691 billion, excluding government taxes. Besides the regulator, gaming consultant Atong Ang’s company earned a gross monthly income of P3 billion, with daily bets averaging P60 billion a month.

Domingo championed PAGCOR’s stint as a regulator and confirmed that the gaming regulator is updating its policies and procedures on e-sabong. Domingo favoured the installation of CCTVs in and around the cockpit premises to monitor operators and prevent crimes like player disappearances. She added that PAGCOR’s policies would include stringent player registration rules to discourage minors under 21 from playing. The regulator envisions increasing the minimum account balance to P1,000 before allowing players to wager.

Guevarra Favours PAGCOR’s Stint as Regulator

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra favoured PAGCOR’s continuity in regulating e-sabong. Guevarra added that Pogos and e-sabong providers licensed by the regulator could operate online across the Philippines, beyond the local government’s jurisdiction.

The secretary suggested that the Congress can enact relevant legislation if it wishes for a more specific authorization to oversee e-sabong operations.

Petar is the finance guru, if you need a good investment this is the guy you go to! Working majority of his days in the finance sector as trader, he has gathered plenty of insight on binary options and the forex markets

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