PAGCOR warns POGOs leaving Philippines

PAGCOR says more POGOs have said they plan to leave.
PAGCOR says more POGOs have said they plan to leave.

The body warns that two POGOs have pulled out of the Philippines due to tax battle with the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Philippines.- Andrea Domingo, head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), has said that two POGOs have already left the Philippines and more were considering pulling out owing to government demands for unpaid taxes.

According to Domingo’s statement, Suncity, a unit of Macau’s giant Suncity Group, and Don Tencess Asian Solutions have requested the cancellation of their licences.

PAGCOR said others had said they were going to leave but had not delivered official notification.

However, consulted by IAG, Suncity Group said Domingo must have been referring to its telebetting services, and not its junket business in Manila.

Suncity said: “The junket business in Manila is definitely important to us and we can’t find any reason to leave Manila at this particular moment”.

The Philippine government has warned that POGOs that have tax debts with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will not be allowed to resume operations.

Only a handful of POGOs have resumed operations following the Covid-19 lockdown. It was revealed recently that only two have paid taxes in the last year.

The Philippines government expects to collect about P20 billion (USD399million) from POGOs in 2020, but many of the firms argue that they are not obliged to pay the 5 per cent franchise tax paid by local operators because they are not based in the country.

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