Tax income from POGOs is also expected to drop as operators leave the Philippines.
Philippines.- The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) has released data showing a drop in gaming revenue among Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) in the second quarter of 2020.
Total gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Q2 amounted to Php2.42 billion (US$49.9 million) as gaming companies remained shut from April to June due to measures to Covid-19 restrictions in areas like Metro Manila. In Q1 GGR had surpassed Php52.9 billion (US$1.09 billion).
PAGCOR-operated casinos only contributed Php126 million (US$2.59 million) in Q2 – about a tenth of what they brought in in Q1. Most of the income came from licensed casinos at Entertainment city, Clark and Fiesta – Php2.16 billion (US$44.5 million) compared with Php38.2 billion (US$787 million) in Q1.
Over Php129 million (US$2.6 million) came from the junket sector, while in-house bingo operations lost Php72,000 (US$1,485). There was no data reported on poker operations.
About 29 out of 62 POGOs registered with PAGCOR have resumed operations after lockdown, with a cap of 30 per cent capacity.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) goal to double tax income collection from those operators may have to wait, with signs some are leaving the country as Covid-19 cases rise and Chinese workers’ permits are not renewed.
Revenue deputy commissioner Arnel Guballa confirmed to The Inquirer that tax collections were down against pre-pandemic levels.
He said: “POGOs are closing down, because they are afraid of COVID-19,” and that “Chinese workers’ visas were cancelled and they went back to China because there are plenty of COVID-19-positive cases in the Philippines.”