Don’t want to pay taxes? Say goodbye to PH, Palace says to POGO

Phil-Asian Gaming Expo offers offshore games targeting punters outside the Philippines. The 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 – Filipino offshore game operators (POGO) can say goodbye if they refuse to pay taxes, Malacañang said Monday following the exodus of online game companies that deal mainly with Chinese.

The government needs POGO revenues, but these companies must pay their dues, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.

“If they want to stay, they have to pay the right taxes,” said Roque at a press briefing at the Palais.

“We need it, because we need income. But, unless they pay (taxes), goodbye,” he added.

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

There are “others more” who are considering leaving the country, she said.

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

The Senate agreed earlier to develop a measure banning POGOs in the country, as the industry is linked to crime, prostitution and corruption. – with a report from Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Malacañang, POGO, tax, Philippine Offshore Gaming, POGO taxes, POGO reopening lockdown, POGO Philippines, offshore gaming Chinese Philippines, Harry Roque

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