The first Philippine baseball game was played in September 1898, just weeks after the Battle of Manila. During 1899 and 1900, baseball clubs were formed by local Filipinos across the islands. Baseball is considered the Philippines’ first national pastime (aside from sabong), and in recent years, a reemergence has occurred as more locals are looking to get involved in playing the sport. Naturally, this has extended to the gambling community, where Philippine legal baseball betting is also getting a big shot in the arm of late.
Baseball is no longer played at a professional level in the Philippines, but the country does have a national team, a thriving Little League, and the amateur Philippine Baseball League. International leagues are also popular in the Philippines for fans and bettors, with Korean Baseball betting, Japanese Baseball betting, and MLB betting options among the most active. This page is here to explain the legality of baseball gambling and sports betting in the Philippines, as well as how Philippine baseball fans can bet real money on their favorite baseball teams online.
Is It Legal To Bet On Baseball In The Philippines?
Yes, Filipinos have two options for betting on baseball in the Philippines: domestic and offshore. Domestically, Philippine gamblers can bet on baseball through bet shops set up by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) MegaSportsWorld (MSW) sportsbook operator.
MegaSportsWorld has betting shops spread throughout the islands, with most of their locations situated around Manila and Quezon City. However, there are some MSW venues in the more rural areas, allowing PH sports betting to have a broad national reach.
Still, MSW’s online sportsbook component isn’t all that great, and it’s limited to players aged 21 and older. If you want to bet on baseball in the Philippines with a legal online sportsbook, you will get the most options and best odds only with offshore online sportsbooks.
For a sportsbook to be considered legal in the Philippines, it needs to be licensed and regulated by a trusted government agency. Online sportsbooks are legitimately licensed and overseen by international gambling regulators in their own home countries, and they’re popular because they offer betting lines from games all around the world.
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Baseball Re-emerging In Philippines
Baseball was introduced while the Philippines was under American control. Since its initial conception in the Philippines, baseball has fluctuated in popularity, starting off with serious highs and then dipping to inevitable lulls.
The first Filipino player to play in the MLB was Bobby Balcena in 1956. With that momentum, baseball prospered in the Philippines until the mid-1970s when political conflicts among baseball officials caused the interest in the sport to decline (akin to the MLB’s own strike in 1994-1995).
Eventually, more Filipino youths started playing basketball and eventually – due in part to a lack of funding and television support for pro baseball, the pastime more or less fell out of the public eye.
Today, baseball in the Philippines is prospering once again in the ASEAN region, and the Philippine Baseball League was established in 2019, replacing the Baseball Philippines League that operated from 2007-2012.
Philippine National Baseball Team
The Philippines national baseball team is organized by the Philippine Amateur Baseball Association (PABA), and in recent years, they have even placed in the ASEAN Games. While the national team has played in international competitions for almost 100 years, the sport has had its ups and downs.
The Philippine baseball national team has won medals in the ASEAN Championships and even finished first in 1954. However, recent years have been more of a struggle for the national team, even as they’re always in the mix. The club just hasn’t been producing quite like previous generations have.
Philippine Baseball Tournaments
The Philippine National baseball team has participated in many international tournaments since they were first introduced to the baseball world. The ASEAN Championship – or Asian Baseball Championship, as it’s formally known – is a baseball tournament that the Philippine national team has participated in since 1954.
While the Filipino team has yet to repeat the gold that they won in the tournament in 1956, they have managed to qualify and place in many ASEAN events throughout the years.
The Philippine national baseball team has also had several appearances at the Asian Games. Their first appearance was in 1998, and they walked away in 5th place. Other global baseball tournaments the national team has participated in over recent years include the SEA Games and Far Eastern Games.
International Baseball Betting
Baseball fans looking for odds on International leagues are in luck as numerous online sportsbooks offer odds on everything from the Major League Baseball (MLB) to the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).
While the US-based MLB has long been the most famous baseball league to bet on, there is good value when shopping for lines from other International leagues. The following leagues are often featured online at legal sportsbooks accepting Filipino bettors.
- NPB – Nippon Professional Baseball (aka Japanese Baseball)
- KBO – Korean Baseball Organization (aka Korean Baseball)
- MLB – Major League Baseball (aka American Baseball)
Little League World Series Scandal
In 1992, the Philippines played in the Little League World Series, where they won the LLWS title. Unfortunately, it was later discovered that the Philippine Little League team violated the age limit rules and residency restrictions.
Upon discovery, the team was stripped of their title and the championship was awarded to the US team from Long Beach, California. Nevertheless, the Philippines has always taken pride in its youth athletics and continue to support their littlest players to this day.
Baseball In The Philippines Today
Today, baseball is still played at an amateur level through the Philippine Baseball League. While there are not many teams and resources are limited, they are still keeping the tradition alive.
While the PBA baseball league took a break for the 2021 season due to COVID restrictions, the league should be back in 2022 and may even generate some betting interest at offshore sportsbooks like those featured here.
Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium
The Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium is in Manila and holds approximately 10,000 fans. The stadium hosted several baseball events that would become legendary over time. In 1934, the stadium was given its current name, and that same year, the Far Eastern Games were hosted at the stadium.
There, Filipino baseball fans got to watch Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth in action. Both hall of famers hit home runs that day, making the game one of the highlights in the stadium’s history.