Is Sabong Illegal in the Philippines?

Is sabong illegal in the Philippines?

No and yes. What do I mean? I mean this.

Sabong is a popular bloodsport in the Philippines that is filled with controversy. A lot of locals love this bloodsport and is currently part of their lives as they breed fighting roosters to compete in small-time local cockpits. Others even breed fighting roosters for a living and compete in official tournaments that bring in international breeders to the Philippines. So sabong IS NOT illegal in the Philippines, but e-sabong may be different.

But what about the “yes” answer? While sabong itself isn’t illegal, online sabong IS illegal. Currently, e-sabong is an illegal gaming activity in the Philippines, which might not make sense for many people since local cockpit fights are still legal.

Why is E-Sabong Illegal in the Philippines?

E-sabong became illegal in the Philippines because of several reasons, including the following:

  • Minors playing online sabong
  • Addiction
  • Illegal activity of unauthorized entities
  • Disappearance of e-sabong players

Of all the reasons mentioned above, the disappearance of e-sabong players is the most puzzling. This is because online gamblers typically won’t have a reason to disappear after playing online sabong, unless they’re registered in a fake gambling site where they’re told to give out their address or they carelessly gave out the information themselves. It makes more sense for local sabongeros to get entangled with criminals if they play carelessly.

Nevertheless, the Philippine government has banned online sabong even if it previously generated PHP640 million per month through the Executive Order No. 09. Under this, online sabong betting and broadcasting live sabong matches is illegal. Because of this, all e-sabong activities are illegal.

What Happened to E-Sabong After?

Unsurprisingly, many online platforms continued offering e-sabong betting options and tried implementing workarounds to continue offering it. Sabong platforms started offering pre-recorded fights to cease all their live sabong activities, others resorted to masking their on-site staff to protect their identities, and others still relied on gaming providers to power their e-sabong offerings.

Many online sabongeros resorted to registering in international casinos and using VPNs to avoid detection for betting on sabong matches. This offered them some security and anonymity, but is still not fool-proof.

Today, the Philippine National Police is still doing crackdowns on online sabong operators operating in the country and there are still hundreds of different online platforms in business. Foreign operators are also currently functioning since the PNP can only block these platforms and not get them to close down.

Should You Still Bet on E-Sabong?

I leave that up to you.

What will Sabong Philippines Do?

Sabong Philippines will continue providing quality gamefowl articles and guides on sabong as we aim to inform people on what sabong is and the different popular gamefowls involved in matches. Even if you don’t bet on online sabong matches, you might still be able to bet in your local cockpits and being able to distinguish which gamefowls are better should be helpful for you. Who knows, you might be able to use what we teach you in official matches and help you start breeding fighting roosters.

We will continue informing players and enthusiasts about the wonders of sabong but we will not stop advising them to game responsibly and legally.


Sabong itself isn’t inherently illegal and enthusiasts can still enjoy this bloodsport locally or in official tournaments. Still, persistent gamblers can register in international online casinos or cockfighting platforms to continue betting on sabong matches online while using VPNs to keep their activities private.

We have no control over you and we can only advise you to gamble responsibly and to avoid gambling for a living.

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