Philippines: online casinos close due to Covid-19 restrictions

Andrea Domingo said POGOs may move to Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
Andrea Domingo said POGOs may move to Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

Approximately half of the 60 online casinos that were operating in The Philippines are reported to have permanently shut down due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

The Philippines.- Around half of the 60 Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) that were operating in the Philippines are now reported to have left the country.

Andrea Domingo, chairman of The Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp (Pagcor) said the body expects revenue from online casino operations, which largely target China, to fall to 16bn pesos (US$330m) this year, in comparison with 30bn pesos during 2020.

She said the main problem is the lack of Chinese workers. Many who left the country for Chinese 2020 new year were unable to return to The Philippines due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Domingo warned that many POGOs will probably move their operations to Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. She said the larger online casinos may return to the Philippines once travel restrictions ease and they have more clarity on country’s proposals to tax the industry.

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