Updated: Aug 19, 2022
A part of Philippine culture
Sabong is considered a popular Filipino pastime that dates back to pre-colonial times. As a result, the game has been so firmly embedded in Philippine culture for thousands of years that it is considered a culture and tradition.
In 1974, the Cockfighting Law was passed. It recognized sabong as a "popular, traditional and customary form of recreation among Filipinos" and also created the Cockfighting Competition Commission, which is responsible for issuing licenses for cockfighting arenas, and related permits for cockfighting and breeding.
Filipinos worship brave warriors who fight bravely, and every cockfighting owner sees his cock as the embodiment of himself in the arena, which is the main reason why cockfighting has become known as the national sport of the Philippines.
Together with the legal part of cockfighting, this sport has developed into a "ten billion dollar industry" in the Philippines.
In the words of Filipino folk, "The only thing that can leave the streets of the Philippines empty is a cockfight, except for the boxing matches of Pacquiao."
There are now about 2,500 dedicated stadiums for cockfighting
In other countries, such as the United States and Europe, bets are placed on soccer games, horse races, car races, and even soccer matches.
In the Philippines, most bets are placed on cock fights. The only difference is that bets are made by word of mouth and precise hand signals - there are no betting counters or any lottery tickets for sale.
For those sitting in the cheap seats, bets usually range from $10 to $100.For the VIP stands sitting next to the ring, bets range from $1000 to $10,000.Betting is an integral part of the process, and many Filipinos often bet on fights in hopes of earning extra money.
The gaming activity is essentially placing two roosters/cocks in an arena and betting on which between the two comes out victorious. Regulation of live cockfighting in cockpit arenas is regulated by the Local Government Unit concerned.
When the fight is over, the bets are exchanged to the cheers of the crowd. Most battles take about 15 minutes. Fast-paced fights are accompanied by crowd noise, which can be deafening.
Since COVID-19 affected nearly every industry in the world, a two-year total ban on cockfighting has been in place.
At the time, the government authorized seven companies to operate online cockfighting events, allowing people to watch and bet on cockfights online 24 hours a day.
Due to various quarantines and lockdowns, live field cockfighting was suspended, and a number of small-scale cockfighting violations were exposed during this period.
Sports betting is a trillion-dollar enterprise worldwide, bigger than any country's economy. All that is needed is to adapt a sport so that the entire game can be completed in a matter of minutes, thus allowing more bets to be placed. Cockfighting can be played in over 300 matches in 24 hours.
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