Online cockfighting, also known as e-Sabong, has recently torn lawmakers apart in the Philippines as the country tries to determine how to navigate through the ongoing Covid pandemic and how to keep people away from the popular cockpits.
Over the past two years, many Filipinos have had to deal with limited capacity restrictions, mask mandates, and abide by a slew of other regulations put in place by the current administration to fight the coronavirus. However, cockfighting at the local cockpits has continued in a more secretive manner, leading to numerous police raids and other legal troubles for some patrons.
What Is E-Sabong
E-Sabong is betting on cockfighting with modern technology, typically with mobile betting apps available on the internet. While most online gambling sites do not offer e-Sabong, the rise in popularity has created interest among bettors.
Legal sports betting sites available to Filipinos offer betting lines on many sports, including combat sports such as boxing, MMA, and more. Online e-Sabong betting has yet to make it to reputable online sports betting sites.
Is E-Sabong legal?
In the Philippines, the issue of legal online e-Sabong betting has sparked legislation to allow the new online cockpits. In May, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) issued two online e-Sabong operating licenses. However, the issue has been met with some resistance as Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said, “There is a new pandemic that the government is not trying to stop,” in reference to betting on online cockfighting.
Currently, a third company is seeking an e-Sabong license from PAGCOR, but the licensees mentioned above cannot legally offer their services to Philippine residents; however, they can offer their services to other countries.
The Future of Cockfighting (Online e-Sabong)
Betting on cockfighting has long been a part of a tradition in the Philippines and other countries worldwide. In today’s modern age, it is no surprise that many things have moved online, including cockfighting. The future of cockfighting will inevitably continue to strive online; as to the legalities of mobile e-sabong betting, it only makes sense that governments would want to tax and regulate the new online industry.
When asked if online cockfighting is a new pandemic or the future of the sport, the answer depends on how you view the sport/tradition or if you engage in betting on cockfights.