Philippines could reconsider ban on online gambling

Tax income from gambling has plummeted.
Tax income from gambling has plummeted.

The government is seeking to increase income from gaming taxes to fund pandemic relief efforts.  

The Philippines.- The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) could make changes to the current legislation on online gambling for locals in order to cope with the recent drop in income from gaming taxes.

AGBrief has reported that two major electronic games license holders have been told to expect new rules and procedures in the near future.

Casino and bingo operators are eager to seize opportunities.

Sebastian Salat, CEO of Zitro, said: “As the effects of COVID are being felt in land-based venues we understand PAGCOR may be considering regulated online and mobile gaming in the Philippines.

“Zitro has outstanding offerings in this area and we are already preparing the groundwork with local partners.”

Mae Javaluyas, chief operating officer at Bromhead Holdings, said: “We hope that the seemingly well-founded rumours that PAGCOR will approve online are correct. Our recently introduced NBA basketball game from Highlight is perfect for mobile application.”

Industry sources also signalled the recent introduction of two online versions of cockfighting, which was banned within pandemic restrictions.

Although the government denies an exodus among Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) only 29 out of 62 have resumed operations after lockdown.

Regulated casino revenues declined by more than 95 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2020, and PAGCOR’s fees have been halved.

As a result, collections have dropped severely despite the government’s desire to receive more funds from gaming taxes to help pay for pandemic relief efforts.

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