The Republic Act (RA) 9287 is an amendment act to Presidential Decree (PD) 1602 which imposes penalties for individuals taking part in illegal gambling activities. RA 9287 increases penalties set in PD 1602 and establishes the Anti-Illegal Gambling Board (AGB). This act also defines what illegal gambling is and states the kind of games and illegal activities that the AGB will be combating. RA 9287 will also list the functions and powers of the AGB and give them authority and responsibility for implementing the new revisions and laws of this act.

Illegal Number Games

Illegal numbers games are defined in this amendment as all forms of illegal gambling such as but not limited to Cockfighting, Jueteng, Masio, Last Two, Jai Alai, and Horse Racing that includes bookie operations and game fixing, Numbers, Bingo, non-government issued Lotteries and any other games of chance. It also states that any game of chance or game of skill that is not in compliance and licensed by their respected regulatory agencies are considered illegal.

Poker, Casino, And Sports Betting – Legal VS Illegal

Most forms of gambling are legal in the Philippines with the exception of unregulated and unlicensed games of chance or skill. However, there are some people who illegally bet on forms of gambling entertainment that are actually not prohibited by law, such as horse racing for example. If you place your bet at a wagering terminal, race track cashier or Philippines legal horse betting site, everything is legal, however, a number of people still choose to bet with illegal bookies for various reasons. RA 9287 strengthens PD 1602 to cover any missed terminology and to impose stricter penalties for parties who choose to participate in un-licensed games of chance or skill.


Poker is legal and often played in the brick-and-mortar casinos located across the Philippines. Filipinos are also allowed to legally play online from offshore licensed and regulated poker rooms. The only exception is Philippine players are not allowed to play domestic sites based in the Philippines by law. Players don’t have to worry about this issue for the most part as it solely falls on the operators to not accept players from the Philippines. Our guide on Philippine legal online poker sites is a great place to start when looking for the best online sites that accept Filipino players.

Casino Gambling

Casino gambling is legal in various forms throughout the Philippines. There are domestic casinos, casinos that come in on ships, and Philippine legal online casinos all available to Filipino residents. Most of the domestic casinos are in or near the capital of Manila City but you will also run across some in other areas of the country. Heavily regulated by gaming commissions casinos are a significant source of income for the Philippines. Not only does the licenses create revenue but the casinos also help attract tourism. Philippine legal online gambling is available through offshore licensed and regulated websites. Online casinos based or licensed in the Philippines are not allowed to offer their online service to residents of the Philippines. Filipino players are only allowed to play online casino sites from overseas who are licensed and regulated by their gaming commissions.

Sports Betting

Betting on sports is popular across the world and in the Philippines. The domestic sportsbook MegaSportsWorld has locations all over the country that allow residents to bet on international sporting competitions. Filipino players are also allowed to bet online with MSW, though there are lots of restrictions that make this inaccessible for most players. (However, with offshore licensed and regulated sportsbooks, that problem is solved.) RA 9287 will toughen the penalties for illegal sportsbooks and other illegal gambling activities to make legal options more favorable and profitable. Philippine legal online sports betting is available to players over the age of 21 domestically, while offshore books take members at just 18 and up. Our guide will help you determine the best site that will accept Filipino registrations.

Anti-Illegal Gambling Board

In section 3 of the amendment, the Anti-Illegal Gambling Board (AGB) is established. The board is to carry out the policies and counter the proliferation of illegal gambling. The personal requirement of the AGB will be complemented by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB). The Anti-Illegal Gambling Board will be comprised of 6 members, one of which will be the chairman of the AGB. The board members will be the chairman or their representatives for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Philippine Racing Commission (PHRACOM), Secretary of the Department of Justice, and the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Powers And Functions Of The Anti-Illegal Gambling Board

Republic Act 9287 established the Anti-Illegal Gambling Board and defined its powers and functions. The board is to act as a central authority responsible for carrying out and apprehending violators of this act. They are also given the power to call upon law enforcement officials to assist in the enforcement of this act. They are also allowed to deputize governors, city mayors, law enforcement agencies, to conduct investigations into illegal number game operations and participants. They are also to function as a complainant if the criminal prosecution of violators. The act also gives them the power to come up with a holistic program and approach to eliminate the existence of illegal gambling within the city walls.

What It All Means

RA 9287 was enacted to strengthen the laws declared in PD 1602. Not only does it re-define what games are often considered illegal, but it toughens the penalties for anyone operating or participating in illegal gambling activities. The Philippines are serious about their gambling revenue and they should be, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is the third leading source of revenue for the country. The President is known to be against gambling and won’t let government officials play or be seen in a casino, but he also knows how important the revenue is for funding school buildings, infrastructure, and other community needs. Tougher Philippine gambling laws should scare more people away from illegal activities and in turn create more revenue for the casinos and the government. Illegal gambling has always plagued the Philippines, expect to see more tough laws come into play until the government sees a dramatic drop in illegal gambling activities.