March 16, 2022 2 min read


E-sabong Addiction ‘Forces’ Woman to Pawn Her Child to Repay Debt

E-sabong has long been one of the most popular activities in the Philippines and the pandemic really highlighted the need for more regulation in the sector. The country made a quick course correction to regulate betting on cock fights and introduced online wagers, hoping to clamp down on illegal gambling but also bolster its own ailing finances and allocate more to health care.

E-Sabong Greenlight Backfires in Many Ways

Previous reports that people have been disappearing because of or after attending e-sabong contests also surfaced in the country, making many aware of the underbelly of the industry, but the decision of a mother to trade away her baby to cover her e-sabong debt is by far the worst report associated with this gambling activity.

The unnamed woman had an outstanding debt of PHP 45,000 or $860 according to Pasig News Today, the media outlet that first reported on the horrific situation. The woman agreed to transfer paternity to the parties she owed a debt to avoid detection and any legal repercussions. However, remorseful of her decision, the woman reached out to Pasig News Today and launched an appeal with the broker who had taken her baby.

The woman reportedly tried to retrieve her child back but failed, as the person whom she had previously contacted over Facebook would no longer respond. The despicable accident has gone viral on social media with the woman unable to find her daughter and police stepping in to investigate.

Baby Still Missing, Police Getting Involved

However, the woman’s appeals may only help police to secure the baby back safely. They are unlikely to give it back to his mother who could face a litany of justifiable charges, including human trafficking, illegal child adoption, child abuse, and more.

This incident is the most shocking one by date and it is another reason for the Philippines to continue allocating more resources into investigating the crime that continues to be associated with e-sabong and cock fighting contests which are heavily bet on.

PAGCOR even suggested that it may be looking into suspending e-sabong but a review of the potential economic windfall would be needed. The country is partially hesitant about continuing to regulate e-sabong because of the numerous reports of crime and human trafficking associated with it. The latest horrific accident does not bode well for e-sabong in the country.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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