The Department of Finance (DOF) has stated that the low collection, ₱2.05 biilion, from Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO) in the first seven months of the year has nothing to do with the POGOs closing up shop in the nation, citing China’s crackdown on online gambling.
MANIILA — Beijing’s efforts to unearth internet payment channels used by offshore gaming organizations, such as POGOs, have slowed the flow of gambling revenues out of China, according to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
“We know for a fact that China has started cracking down on online gambling. All their moves to require Alipay, to require Tencent, and all those payment systems, start reporting in China is really putting a damper on the outflow of gambling dollars from China,” Dominguez said.
He claims that this, not the Government’s new tax policies, is the real reason for the POGO exodus from the Philippines.
Last year, POGOs paid ₱7.18 billion in taxes to the Government, up from ₱6.42 billion in 2019.
But in September, President Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11590 or An Act Taxing POGOs as part of the Government’s program to impose additional taxes on offshore gaming operations.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PACGOR) disclosed that at least 28 POGO licensees have closed down their operations and properties in the Philippines since March 2020.
“I mentioned to people since 2018, China is sooner or later going to crack down on this [POGO]. Once the Chinese has started cracking down on that, of course, the business will go down here,” Dominguez said.
Any form of gambling is illegal under Chinese law and has been banned since the Communist Party took power in 1949. (JD/Headline PH)