Is E-Sabong legal in the Philippines?

Learn about E-Sabong in the Philippines, its legal issues, risks, and how the government is cracking down on illegal online cockfighting. Stay informed and help stop it.
Is E-Sabong legal in the Philippines?

E-sabong, or online cockfighting, has become a sensation in the Philippines. The paradox, however, lies in its popularity amid its illegal status. Let’s unravel the complexities surrounding this controversial phenomenon.

The Mechanics of E-Sabong

Imagine sitting anywhere with an internet connection and betting on live-streamed cockfights. That’s e-sabong! Operating through mobile apps and websites, it’s the epitome of convenience and excitement, making it a widespread indulgence.

Why E-Sabong is Illegal

In the Philippines, online cockfighting, also known as e-sabong, is currently illegal. It was briefly legal in 2021 and early 2022, but it was banned in May 2022 by former President Rodrigo Duterte due to the disappearance of at least 34 individuals linked to the industry. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. extended the ban in December 2022. The Philippine National Police (PNP) has recommended that e-sabong be listed as an illegal gambling activity penalized under Presidential Decree 1602, the country’s anti-illegal gambling law. The PNP has also proposed that sanctions be imposed on service providers that fail to block e-sabong websites. Although a few illegal e-sabong operations still exist in the Philippines, the government is taking tough actions against them. In August 2023, the PNP arrested over 1,200 people in a nationwide operation against illegal online cockfighting.

The Dangers of E-Sabong

E-sabong is not just about the thrill; it comes with significant risks. Many individuals have fallen into the trap of addiction, losing substantial amounts of money and even spiraling into debt. The association with crimes like kidnapping, extortion, and murder raises red flags. The ethical dilemma of rooster welfare further complicates matters.

Government Action and Crackdown

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has taken a bold step with a nationwide operation, resulting in over 1,200 arrests. Simultaneously, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is actively blocking 272 websites and 120 mobile apps linked to illegal e-sabong operations. The government is leaving no stone unturned to combat this pervasive issue.

How to Help

  • Avoid Online Bets: As individuals, the first step is to refrain from engaging in online cockfight betting.
  • Spread Awareness: Educate friends and family about the risks associated with e-sabong.
  • Initiate Conversations: If you know someone involved, have an open conversation about the potential dangers.
  • Report to Authorities: Be vigilant and report any suspicious e-sabong activities to the police.


In conclusion, e-sabong is not merely a legal concern; it’s a societal issue that requires collective action. While the government is taking strides, community involvement is equally crucial. Stay informed, talk to your peers, and let’s collectively work towards eradicating the menace of illegal e-sabong in the Philippines.


As of now, E-Sabong is illegal throughout the entire Philippines. It was briefly legal in 2021 and early 2022 but was banned subsequently.

The Philippine government, led by President Rodrigo Duterte and later President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., deemed E-Sabong illegal due to various concerns, including the disappearance of individuals linked to the industry and associated criminal activities.

Despite the ban, there are reports of a few illegal E-Sabong operations in the Philippines. However, the government, through the Philippine National Police, is actively taking measures to crack down on such activities.

Engaging in E-Sabong comes with risks such as addiction, substantial financial loss, and association with crimes like kidnapping and extortion. The ethical dilemma of rooster welfare adds another layer of complexity.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has initiated a nationwide operation, resulting in the arrest of over 1,200 individuals. Additionally, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is actively blocking websites and mobile apps associated with illegal E-Sabong operations.


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