Filipino residents are now technically free to access legal online poker in the Philippines through sanctioned offshore gambling sites. Philippine gambling laws restrict locally based gambling operators from offering their services to locals.
That being said, the Cagayan Freeport region has its own gambling laws, and is in the early stages of licensing gambling companies, even though they would not be able to offer play to Philippine residents.
There is a real effort by the government to fight against underage online gambling. Operators found guilty of allowing minors on their platforms are to be sanctioned with imprisonment from 5 to 10 years and financial fines up to P10 million (approximately $230,000).
The law also states that “the penalty of imprisonment from 5 years to 10 years or a fine of P100,000 (approximately $23,000) or both shall be imposed upon any parent, guardian, or person exercising moral authority or ascendancy over a minor, ward, or incapacitated person, who induces or causes them to commit any of the offenses punishable under the proposed law.”
Since the election of President Rodrigo Duterte, the situation of online poker in the Philippines has become a bit uncertain. As he declared war against online gambling, PAGCOR refused license renewals for over 280 Internet cafes and sports books used by Filipinos. Since then, no other initiative has been taken.
To this day, poker players still have access to all major poker sites. The following payments are widely accepted: Credit/debit cards, Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Dash, Litecoin, Ethereum), wire transfers, cashier’s cheques, e-wallets, prepaid options. Deposits through Skrill/Neteller may not be possible on certain sites.
Mobile data in the Philippines isn’t quite reliable depending on the region and the time of the day. A solid Wi-Fi connection is recommended.