Half of the Senate could be in favour of banning POGOs in the Philippines

A bill to ban POGOs appears to be gaining support.
A bill to ban POGOs appears to be gaining support.

Senator Risa Hontiveros said half of the 24-member Senate is “possibly” in favour of an end to Philippine offshore gaming operators.

The Philippines.- The possibility that POGOs may be banned in the Philippines is becoming more real. Yesterday (October 26), Senator Risa Hontiveros told Abs-Cbn that half of the senate could vote in favour of the bill to ban the businesses. She added that irrespective of any ban, POGOs must be mandated to settle their taxes.

The Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF), the Makati Business Club (MBC), and the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) have issued a joint statement arguing that POGOs have a high social cost and damage the country’s reputation.

Meanwhile, senator Sherwin Gatchalian has suggested that the Philippines could mitigate the impact of a ban on online gaming by growing the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.  Gatchalian noted that POGOs contribute PHP34.68bn a year to the country or 1 per cent of GDP.

He said that while this contribution could be considered significant, the impact of a ban could be mitigated by attracting BPO companies, which could take up office space left by gaming operators.

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