Internet bingo operators are always looking for new markets and for most European providers the Philippines remain a relatively untapped market. Bingo is an extremely popular game in the Philippines. Bingo is played somewhat differently in the Asian nation. Instead of using traditional numbered bingo balls the numbers are on round chips that are drawn out of a bottle shaped basket. Card patterns are determined before each game and winners get money or prizes after completing the pattern. Instead of calling the numbers directly bingo callers in the Philippines will say a humorous phrase that players associate with a specific number. The practice is similar to the ‘bingo lingo’ used in British bingo halls. In the Philippines bingo is played in modern bingo halls and there are about 200 halls throughout the Philippines archipelago. All bingo halls in the Philippines are run by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) which is a government monopoly. In addition street bingo games are common in the Philippines.
In the Philippines internet gambling is a huge industry. Internet access is widespread and about 29,750,000 people, or 29.7% of the population, are regular internet users. Originally the growth of the internet in the Philippines was hindered by unequal distribution of the internet infrastructure but most problems have been overcome. In 200 the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation launched the first online casino. The move was very profitable and since 200 the internet gambling industry has expanded in the country. The government gambling monopoly runs a website where games are played on mobile phones using text messages. Currently PAGCOR operates the only legal gaming website which offers sports betting, a casino, and internet lottery games. Currently no online bingo games are offered on their website.
Internet bingo players in the Philippines must play at foreign bingo sites. There are about 400 internet bingo sites on the web offering games in several languages. Not all bingo sites accept players from the Philippines but most do. The popularity of internet gambling and the lack of internet bingo games have created many opportunities for bingo operators. So far the Philippine internet bingo market remains underserved. Spanish and English are two of the primary languages used in the Philippines and bingo games are available in both languages. Since the Philippines is one of the few Asian nations where bingo is popular the opportunities available for bingo operators could prove to be very profitable.