Don't want to pay taxes? Say goodbye to PH, Palace tells POGOs

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 29 2020 05:11 PM

Don't want to pay taxes? Say goodbye to PH, Palace tells POGOs 1
Phil-Asian Gaming Expo features offshore games targetting bettors outside the Philippines. Games can be played on desktop or mobile devices. Photos taken at the SMX Convention Center. July 12, 2019. Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) can say goodbye if they refuse to pay taxes, Malacañang said Monday following the reported exodus of online gambling firms mostly catering to Chinese.

The government needs revenues from POGOs, but these firms must settle their dues, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said.

"If they want to stay, they have to pay the right taxes," Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

"We need them, because we need the revenues. But, unless they pay up (taxes), goodbye," he added.

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) chair Andrea Domingo earlier said that SC World Devt Corp., a unit of Macau's gambling giant SunCity Group, has stopped doing business in the Philippines.

There are "others more" that plan to leave the country, she said.

The government was criticized for allowing POGOs to operate while the country was under strict lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). POGOs, which also employ mostly Chinese workers, fall under the non-essential industry category.

The Senate earlier agreed to craft a measure banning POGOs in the country, as the industry has been linked to criminality, prostitution and corruption. - with a report from Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News