Casual gamblers in the Philippines are struggling to find local games and events to bet on.
However, that will hopefully be remedied in short order, as the country is on pace to reduce its COVID-19 threat levels in the coming weeks.
Reportedly, the overall impact of the so-called Omicron variant has waned significantly of late. According to Dr. Eva Maria de la Paz, director of the Philippine National Institutes of Health, the nation appears to have “dodged a bullet.”
Per de la Paz, just over half the population – nearly 60 million Filipinos – have been vaccinated against COVID-19, and the government’s numbers indicate that this has helped shorten the critical outbreak period of Omicron infections:
“The data is showing us that vaccination has averted a worst-case scenario in the Philippines.”
While it’s actually unclear how effective current COVID vaccines actually are against the Omicron variant, there is scientific consensus that despite Omicron being more contagious than previous coronavirus iterations, the mutation is less intensely infectious.
This has resulted in more COVID cases but far fewer COVID hospitalizations.
At any rate, the worst – for now – seems to be over.
That means that, among other industrial and commercial reopenings, the PBA can finally finish out its season.
For some background, the Governors’ Cup was suspended the day after Christmas last year, bringing a halt to the action with fewer than half of the elimination round completed.
There was talk of possibly continuing on without the Governors’ Cup’s trademark import players, and there was even more dire talk of cancelling the conference outright. But it appears that play will resume as normal in the first week or two of February.
Of course, you haven’t had to wait for local options to open back up to bet real money on sporting events and casino games in the Philippines, because legal online gambling is possible at offshore venues.
While Internet-based sports betting and domestic casino iGaming is being slowly rolled out to the lucky few “VIP” customers who qualify for the privilege, the vast majority of the Philippine gambling public has plenty of alternative options at its disposal.
Sites like BetOnline AG and SportsBetting AG both accept all Philippine residents at just 18 and up, and venues sites offer the full gamut of national and international sports betting odds, along with just about every online casino game and Philippine online poker option you can think of.
That’s why we’re always so disappointed when we come across news like this.
Earlier this week, the Philippine NBI arrested six individuals in Mandaue City for running an illegal numbers game. These Small Town Lottery operations – or SBLs – are licensed on a city-by-city basis, and Mandaue City’s contract expired in March 2021.
However, underground options have continued to crop up, and the government has recently ramped up its efforts to crack down on these illegal gambling kiosks.
While the operators are unlikely to face too severe a penalty, we’re far more concerned for the players.
Obviously, with this arrest – and other similar arrests occurring regularly – players aren’t going to be able to collect their winnings.
But beyond that, it’s not particularly safe to gamble on the black market. Players could be caught up in stings or – even worse – become victims caught in the middle of the worst kind of action.
The risk simply isn’t worth it. And we say that as lifelong gamblers!
This is especially true given the fact that, as stated, you can already play all these kinds of lotteries over the Internet safely, legally, and in the comfort of your own home.
The Philippine legal gambling sites we recommend all offer real-money online lotteries, scratch-offs, bingo, keno, and craps, and some even boast regional favorites like Jueteng, mahjong, and so on.
So even as the local casino and sports betting markets pick back up over the next month or so, you should really keep your legal online options in mind.
We think you’ll agree that they can be much, much better for the vast majority of players.