The gambling industry grew at an unexpected speed once the United States took a step toward legalizing this back in 1978. The next phase would be even more breathtakingly fast in growth with the slow but steady growth of online gambling in the early part of the 2000s. Once New Jersey led the pack by becoming the first state to legalize online gambling by 2013, it was a meteoric rise to the industry.
For example, one bettor back in November 2022, Mattress Mack, placed a USD10 million bet on Houston Astros to win the World Series at +750 odds. Mack won USD75 million — the largest online sports betting in history.
Then, online gambling reached the Philippines’ shores with the same high level of enthusiasm plus more. There has been a side of both good and not-so-good effects of unhindered online gambling in the country. But the recent spate of unfavourable headlines that lay out the horrors of illegal gambling and its ill effects on society clearly sends alarm bells to everyone.
There are undeniably strong efforts to get things under control and abate the trend of growth when it comes to establishments involved in illegal gambling but it’s more difficult than expected. Unlicensed online betting sites in the country are still on the rise. These criminal acts largely undermine the progress of those who are working with the government and comply with regulatory bodies as well as promote and practice responsible gaming.
Efforts to bring legalized and regulated gambling in the country become tarnished and lose some of the ground gained whilst they are able to provide thousands of jobs as well as boost progress in the communities that surround their establishments, most especially the integrated resorts where income lost during the pandemic has steadily improved when they entered the picture.
The tourism industry greatly benefits from these legitimate operators and brings about a butterfly effect to have a greater source of income for employees and businesses connected to both industries. Without a doubt, the government also gains more revenue from this, too.
With that said, the illegal gaming operators still need to be quashed and addressed with urgency. They can boast little to no restrictions when using their platforms — even allowing minors and students to wager online.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation have licensed operators who adhere to their rules and regulations — including the practice of the “know your customer” (KYC) verification process to ensure that only those allowed by law can actually play. PAGCOR also includes that responsible gaming practices are within the parameters of every licensed operator.
If these rules are foregone, this is where bettors become victims of gambling. There are simply no limits to their wagers and no control over who can do so. It’s a disruptive environment that negates the pure purpose of gambling which is for recreation and entertainment — not the means to get money.
There are also dastardly parties who create fake websites that pose as duly accredited by government authorities or other legal entities. Their aim is to steal information that unsuspecting players provide when they register to join the site.
Since they are not approved at all by the government and are not liable to any laws, they are not obliged to follow rules or fiscal On top of this, malicious entities are also creating fake websites that deliberately imitate government-accredited online casinos to steal both their credibility and their players. Since these still operate without state approval, they do not comply with any laws or regulations, including their fiscal accountability to their customers.
Among the good guys, OKBet, a local gaming platform licensed and regulated by PAGCOR, reported that there was a recent discovery of a high number of fake websites acting as online sportsbook operators. These then use domain names that are very similar to their brand. OKBet has since made the public know that the correct site for their online casino is https://www.OKBet.com
OKBet folks have since done measures to sound the alarm on this matter with their player base and prevent them from becoming victims to the fake websites — pointing out that among reported violations were phishing attacks or breaches of their data privacy. The illegal operators use personal information provided by their victims to then conduct other scams, like identity theft and credit card fraud.
It’s also important to note that despite authorities being able to close down these questionable sites, the victims’ deposited funds will be lost as a consequence of the nature of the scam-bound site.
PAGCOR fervently reminded the public last September that gambling operators that fail to pass the application process and meet all documentary and financial requirements cannot be categorized as legal online gaming entities. Be on the lookout that only players who are at least 21 years of age or older can participate in online casinos and it’s best to check PAGCOR’s official list of licensed operators at their website: https://www.PAGCOR.ph.
It’s always best to research and make sure that the online casino site that you’re choosing is legitimate. Let’s all be careful and make sure we’re having fun in a very safe and secure environment. Let us know your suggestions, feedback, and reaction on this matter. We always look forward to hearing from you!