State revenue from regulatory fees paid by POGOs is only half what it was before Covid-19.
Philippines.- The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s (PAGCOR) income from the monthly regulatory fees paid by Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) and their service providers has been halved due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jose Tria, PAGCOR assistant vice president for offshore gaming licensing, said: “monthly regulatory fees of around Php600 million (US$12.3 million) pre-Covid-19 is now down by almost half.”
He said the reduction would be even higher if the collection formula did not allow PAGCOR to impose regulatory fees higher than 2 per cent of POGOs’ gross gaming revenues (GGR)
Local media reported that PAGCOR’s revenues had dropped due to reduced operations, since some POGOs have not been allowed to resume business due to unpaid tax debts, and because also online gaming revenues were lower.
Tria confirmed that 32 out of the 62 POGOs registered with PAGCOR have resumed operations, as well as 111 out of 218 accredited POGO services providers.
Even though the Malacañang government led by Rodrigo Duterte has denied there is an exodus of POGOs from the Philippines, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said a building owner in Makati City had told him offshore gaming operators had been cancelling their lease contracts in light of new restrictions on operations.
Tria said the licences of five POGOs had been cancelled, while another five were suspended, and 42 service providers had requested the cancellation of their accreditation.