Filipinos love games and gambling, so why is it when talking about eSports betting, Philippines isn’t included? Even though more than 30% of Filipinos play video games, many of them don’t know about the growing eSports betting market.
This means there’s a big Southeast Asian audience out there that’s just about to make their first eSports bets! In this review, we’ll discuss the current Philippine eSports betting scene. We’ll take a look at the factors that control Filipinos’ opinions on eSports betting and talk about the best eSports betting sites to use in the country.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, is eSports betting legal in the Philippines? Are Filipinos allowed to bet on eSports online? If so, what are the requirements that must be followed?
The answer to the first question is yes! In fact, the Philippine law even allows Filipinos to gamble on offshore casinos, sportsbooks, and other gambling platforms, not just local ones.
The only concern that the Philippine government has so far with online gambling is that the platform being used must be a legitimate one, meaning it has to be licensed and regulated in the country or state where it’s operating.
Unlike eSports betting in Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries that have many restrictions on sports and eSports betting, the Philippines only has the age restriction where you have to be 18 or over before you can start gambling.
Filipinos can also bet on traditional sports and eSports anywhere in the Philippines. With such freedom, it’s really hard to believe that eSports betting hasn’t taken over the country by now.
There are many reasons why most Filipino eSports fans are still clueless about eSports betting. Philippines, like most countries, has reasons that have to do with plain demographics and personal biases and beliefs.
Let’s take a look at the major ones.
We all know that the eSports industry only started becoming famous around two decades ago. People started playing video games for the first time with the help of the internet.
If the eSports industry is young, most of the games that people play today are even younger. Titles like Dota 2, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) only came out about ten years ago.
Because the video games are young, the community that keeps the eSports industry is young as well. In the Philippines, many eSports fans are either below the legal age or are above the legal age but still rely on their parents or guardians for allowance.
Even though gambling is common in the Philippines, parents don’t go around telling their kids that it’s acceptable and that they should do it. Most families don’t even like talking about money at all, which doesn’t exactly promote betting on anything.
Since most Filipino eSports fans were told by their parents to avoid gambling, their opinion about betting tends to be negative in general. They don’t see it happening anytime soon, even if they wanted to participate in eSports betting. Philippines is just old-school when it comes to handling money.
Most Filipino eSports fans are still on their road to independence, which means they have to wait before they can do whatever they want with their money.
Speaking of money, being young means you don’t have a lot of it. Even if you have it, you can’t just do whatever you want with it. This is truer in the Philippines where even adults with jobs and college diplomas are having a hard time making ends meet.
Most Filipino eSports fans who do have some money would rather spend it on something else though: in-game items like skins (different looks of a character) and points of some sort (for purchasing stuff in the game).
Buying these in-game things is much more harmless to parents. After all, they have the final say on how the money they give to their children should be spent.
Not all Filipino eSports fans are young and short on money. There are those who make a decent living and can afford to buy most of the things they want. If these well-off Filipinos love video games, why don’t they bet on them?
There’s just not enough buzz in their country about eSports betting. Philippines is the social media capital of the world but no matter how much Filipino eSports fans swipe and tap on their phones, they wouldn’t see their friends posting and talking about eSports betting. eSports betting in India has the same problem.
Filipino eSports fans who have more than enough money to do what they want don’t bet on eSports simply because they don’t see anybody doing it.
Finally, we get to those who bet on eSports in the Philippines. These Filipino eSports fans have full control over their money and appreciate video games as much as the next person.
But they don’t just love video games. They see themselves as analysts who can see the ins and outs of the game and identify the strengths and weaknesses of different eSports teams. They love predicting what’s going to happen in a match.
Filipino bettors in the eSports industry also want to show support for their favorite eSports team by betting on them. Although they want to make some profits, it’s secondary to the feeling of winning with the team where they’re risking money as a sign of trust.
If we’re talking about eSports betting, Philippines may have a small market, but it’s a totally passionate one.
It’s an understatement that Filipinos love eSports and video games. When online gaming became popular in the Philippines about a decade ago, many Filipinos took their first step into internet cafes, better known in the country as “computer shops,” and have never looked back since.
The fun of right-clicking monsters in RPG games and the thrill of shooting other players in FPS games immediately hooked the Filipino youth, signaling just how much gaming would grow in the country in the following years.
Since then, not only newer games have been created but also different video game genres as well. Arguably the most famous one that took over the Philippines was Dota, a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA).
Today, Filipinos continue to play Dota 2, a newer, better form of Dota. They have their own professional eSports teams that compete internationally like TNC Predator.
They have professional Dota 2 players, like “Kuku” and “Abed” from T1 and Evil Geniuses respectively. Both stand a good chance at winning the $40 million prize pool at eSports’ most prestigious event yet: The International 10, taking place in August 2021.
T1 is the champion of ESL One Summer 2021. Meanwhile, Evil Geniuses (EG) placed 2nd in both the Singapore Major and Animajor, which are all recent Dota 2 eSports events that are largely connected to TI10.
The Filipinos support EG because if they can manage to win TI10, Abed would be the first Filipino representative to ever win The International.
You can also see how Filipinos have embraced MOBA by looking at how popular Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) is in the Philippines. MLBB is a MOBA on the mobile phone that’s currently being played by almost every Filipino.
To understand how passionate Filipinos are about MLBB, Bren eSports, a professional Filipino eSports team, won the gold medal in MLBB in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Every year, Filipinos enjoy many Dota 2 and MLBB eSports events, which is why when discussing eSports betting, Philippines love those eSports betting sites that offer the most played video games in the country.
Just what are those eSports betting sites exactly?
We know that when it comes to eSports betting, Philippines only have very few restrictions. This should leave Filipinos with a lot of eSports betting sites to choose from, right? After all, there should be companies that provide eSports betting services in a country where it’s allowed and where eSports is a nationwide sensation.
Unfortunately, most eSports betting sites don’t accept Filipinos for some reason. In reading their Terms and Conditions, you’d find that even some of the leading eSports gambling platforms don’t accept customers coming from the Philippines.
It also doesn’t help that the Philippines doesn’t have local bookies. Even though their country is rich in professional eSports tournaments and other eSports events, Filipino bettors rely on offshore eSports betting sites for the opportunity to bet.
That being said, what are the best bookies that are being used by Filipino bettors?
After checking out countless eSports betting sites, analyzing their reviews, and reading their statements, we at Strafe have gathered the best eSports betting sites in the Philippines, which include the following:
Filipinos can bet on Dota 2, League of Legends, and CS: GO with all of these bookies. However, they can only bet on MLBB using Loot.Bet.
Unikrn, Cyber.Bet, and Arcanebet are the go-to bookies for many eSports fans in many parts of Europe and Asia, while Betonline is the only site on the list that accepts customers from the US and the UK. GG.Bet is known to be a great choice for eSports betting in Canada.
The eSports betting sites we’ve listed offer many deposit and withdrawal methods that Filipinos can use depending on their preference. And we at Strafe happen to know that preference to be digital wallets.
Why digital wallets? As we’ve said, most Filipino eSports fans are young and their ages range from late teens to early twenties.
In the Philippines, there’s a high chance you won’t have your bank account until you’re in your mid-twenties. Even if you’re past the legal age, you’re still considered pretty much dependent.
Other than that, they’re so easy and simple to set up. Online wallets are great because of how they solve this problem: one, you don’t need to have a bank account to create a digital wallet and two, you can use the money in your digital wallet to buy almost whatever you want online.
So, what are the eSports betting sites that accept payments through digital wallets that don’t require bank accounts like PayPal and Skrill? You’d be glad to know that nearly all of the eSports betting sites we’ve mentioned feature both of these digital wallets and more!
Unikrn, Bwin, and Betsson include PayPal and Skrill, while Cyber.Bet, GG.Bet, Arcanebet, and Loot.Bet only include Skrill. Sadly, Betonline doesn’t offer digital wallets as payment methods because they’re more focused on services that are related to cryptocurrencies.
On the other hand, Filipinos who have a bank account have even better options. They can withdraw their funds directly from most bookies with reduced fees (like conversion rates) and they can withdraw their money from their digital wallets if they want.
Can Filipinos use the Philippine peso to bet on eSports?
Yes, there are some eSports betting sites that accept the Philippine peso. This doesn’t mean that you can use the peso to directly place bets, though. The site would have to convert the peso to their preferred currencies first. This could be the dollar and the euro, before you can start betting.
This makes some bookies great for countries that already use their currency. For example, eSports betting in Australia favors Unikrn because it already caters to the Australian dollar.
Some bookies will charge you for exchanging your currency, while others will do it without any commissions. When it comes to eSports betting, the Philippines often has to pay something for the platform’s services, but only a little bit.
You should check if your bookie charges extra fees or not.
Since there’s not much say about eSports betting, Philippines has a small market right now. But it’s showing promise. How do we know that? Because we at Strafe have found that most Filipino eSports fans are more than willing to try betting on their favorite eSports.
Filipino gamers’ only problem is not having the money to do it. For those who’ve just started betting, most of them immediately began thinking of eSports betting as a way to spice up watching eSports tournaments and earn some profits.
The Filipino eSports fans who are also eSports bettors think of eSports betting as a hobby. It’s just a matter of time before the rest of the pack start thinking the same.
eSports betting is legal anywhere in the Philippines as long as you’re over 18 years old. The gambling platform you’re using must be licensed and regulated in the country or state where it’s based.
Make sure to read the Terms and Conditions of your chosen bookie before creating an account to avoid getting into some trouble down the road. Do some background research to know if your betting site is operating legally.
Some of the most well-known games that Filipinos can bet on are Dota 2, League of Legends, and CS: GO.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) is another video game that’s very popular in the Philippines. It holds many eSports events throughout the year which makes it one of the best video games among Filipinos who want to get started on eSports betting.
One bookie where you can bet on MLBB is Loot.Bet. Feel free to visit our Loot.Bet review to start betting on the next professional MLBB tournament!
It depends on the payment method you prefer and the payment methods available in the gambling platform you’re looking at.
In some eSports betting sites, you can use digital wallets that don’t require a bank account, like PayPal and Skrill, as both deposit and withdrawal methods. With these bookies, you can start betting on eSports without a bank account.
If you’re considering an eSports betting site that doesn’t offer digital wallets as a payment method, then you probably need to have a bank account first before you can transfer any of your funds and make other kinds of transactions.
Different eSports betting sites have different minimum deposit limits. With most of them, you only need as little as $5-$10 to create your account and start placing wagers. We at Strafe don’t recommend this though, initially depositing a few bucks doesn’t make the most out of the welcome bonus offer.
Welcome bonus offers just mean free cash for newcomers. Most bookies are willing to match your initial deposit by 100%. This means if your first deposit is $5, you will get a $5 bonus.
Filipinos can use welcome bonus offers by signing up to bookies that offer them and then entering a bonus code. Check out our Strafe reviews to learn more about bonus codes and other promotions!