Jueteng, a numbers game, is considered an illegal gambling activity in the Philippines. This is a widely popular game and participation cuts across demographics and social classes. If the other forms of gambling only attract the rich and those with a comfortable bankroll, this game is open to different types of players. Specifically, Jueteng is patronized by players who belong to the lower classes who are attracted to the lure of instant wins and jackpots that can serve as tickets to instant riches. This game was popular in the 1990s and was brought to national prominence in 2000s due to corruption allegations that involved government officials. Today, Jueteng is considered illegal with the Philippine President calling for stricter rules on monitoring and implementation.
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Although it’s illegal, this still popular in different parts of the country. Thanks to lower bets and higher payouts, many are still attracted to Jueteng. This results in games and draws that are often conducted without the knowledge of the police or other government agencies. According to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), over Php 38 billion has been wagered on the games (2010). This makes the game a popular past time among Filipinos and one that has a sociocultural influence which will remain for years to come.
Jueteng was introduced to the country during the Spanish colonization. It was during the early 1800s when the first version of the game was played in the country. Due to its popularity during this time, this game tickets were often sold in boats and ferries to Visayas and Mindanao. Soon, the operations of the game were managed by Chinese nationals residing in the country. It was only during the latter part of the 1900s that Filipinos started to run this gambling activity.
As a form of gambling, Jueteng works like a local form of lottery. In the traditional lottery game, players need to visit the nearest outlet to place their bets and wait one or two days for the lottery results. In this game, interested players no longer need to visit an outlet or travel to the city center just to participate in games. What is good about this form of gambling is that Jueteng is delivered to the players’ communities or even homes.
A ‘cobrador’ or the game’s collector will often go around the community and visit houses to collect the wagers of the individuals. This also adds to the popularity of Jueteng as a game. The game promotes a personalized service and bettors feel that they are truly part of the process. In some areas where Jueteng is popular, some of the collectors will set-up stalls where they can collect the wagers and bets.
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Once a bettor comes around, the process begins. A bettor will select two Jueteng numbers from 1 to 37, for example, ‘2-24′. The bettor will then identify the wager he wants to make for the Jueteng game. Bets for the game can start at Php 1.00 which can win up to Php 400.00. The amount of bet will vary in the game of Jueteng and there are some reports that wealthy individuals often bet more than Php 10,000.00 when playing the game.
Depending on the area, the operators will offer two or three draws in a day which can give players more opportunities to play and win the prize. After placing the bet, the collector will then record the wager and remit the collection to the operator. It is the job of the operator to conduct the draw and announce the Jueteng result. The results will be announced in different ways. For example, the Jueteng result today can be shared by SMS messages, it can be posted in a board, or the collector will go around to share the news. The simplicity of the game makes it popular among the masses, and also the reason why it was promoted illegally.
As a response, the government started several initiatives that can help curb Jueteng.
Legal Status of the Numbers Game
During Spanish times, the colonial government has already ruled against games of chance. And in 1907, the American colonial government has reinforced this rule through Act No. 1757. This means that Jueteng has been banned for a long time. However, due to its popularity and the creativity of some individuals and operators, Jueteng has been played sporadically in many parts of the country. Since it’s illegal, the viable option for many is to check out the gaming services that are offered by licensed offshore online casinos that cater to players from the Philippines.
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Although the game is illegal, there were still some efforts from operators to host the game. During the 1990s and 2000s, Jueteng is played in different parts of the country. Operators have been creative enough to mask their activities when collecting bets and in the announcement of Jueteng winning numbers. Due to its influence, even several high-profile politicians were linked to the operations of Jueteng. Former President Joseph Estrada, for example, was linked to Jueteng and was accused to have received payoffs from Jueteng operators. The government of then-President Benigno Aquino Jr was also linked to Jueteng payoffs particularly to his cabinet members, Ronnie Puno, and Jesus Versoza.
Alternative Numbers Games that are Legal to Play in the Philippines
There are several numbers game that you can also play that are allowed in the Philippines. To stop Jueteng activities the national government has introduced several games that can serve as an alternative. The most popular is the lottery which is available in different variants. Some of the popular variants of the game that you can play are 6/42, 6/45, 6/49, 6/55, and 6/58 that offers the biggest jackpot of them all. Another popular option is the game of Keno. This works like your lottery. In Keno, you will pick a set of numbers. If the numbers that you have selected have been randomly drawn by the system, you take home the winnings. The amount of jackpot that you will get will depend on the numbers you have matched.
Aside from these numbers games that are popularly run by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), you can also check other legal options to play. Several licensed offline casinos operate to accommodate the needs of players. Also, players can check out the mobile casinos that are also fully licensed which allows you to play games anywhere you are.
Jueteng Games in Pop Culture
Although the game is illegal, it didn’t stop players and operators from enjoying the game. And according to some studies, ths game has been deeply ingrained in the culture of the Filipinos. It has changed the way of life of many. And for some players, betting on Jueteng has become part of their daily lifestyle. The popularity and influence of the game can be seen in how many Filipinos enjoy and play the game. In choosing the game numbers to play, some players follow some rituals and beliefs in the selection of Jueteng winning numbers. In the selection of numbers, some passionate players rely on Jueteng numbers and their meanings. Often, this game meaning is drawn from dreams and everyday occurrences and events. If a player dreams about an animal or an event, this is used as the basis in betting on Jueteng. If it’s the person’s birthday, then the date is often used as the numbers to play in Jueteng. It is also common for many players to ‘take care’ of certain numbers. This means that they will identify a set of numbers and they will continually bet on these until they win. These are just some of the most popular Jueteng tips to win in the game. Each player has his own Jueteng technique to win and some of these are based on beliefs and traditions. All these help make this game a truly popular game that attracts the attention of many.
Is Jueteng legal to play in the Philippines?
No. According to several laws and orders, numbers games which include Jueteng are illegal. And some sanctions will be given to players and operators. However, there are some instances when operators manage to host these games away from the monitoring of authorities.
How does the game works?
To bet on this game, simply select two digits from 1 to 37. If your numbers are drawn, then you win in the game.
What is the minimum bet that I can make in Jueteng?
During its peak, the minimum bet that you can make here is Php 1.00 which can win you Php 400.00.
If Jueteng is now illegal, what are my other options if I want to play the numbers game?
There are several legal options available in the country today. If you prefer the appeal and challenge of the numbers game, you can also bet on the popular lottery and keno. These games are licensed and legal and run by PCSO. We also recommend that you check out the licensed offshore casinos that offer different types of casino games.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Best Online Casino sites in the Philippines for 2020
- 2 Jueteng, Explained
- 2.1 Legal Status of the Numbers Game
- 2.2 Alternative Numbers Games that are Legal to Play in the Philippines
- 2.3 Jueteng Games in Pop Culture
- 2.4 FAQs