President Duterte said he would personally “slap” those who do not pay.
Philippines.- President Rodrigo Duterte gave Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) an ultimatum: 72 hours to solve their tax obligations.
“They are now ordered to register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and get a tag number… you better settle your liabilities or else I’ll turn you into quails”, said in an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines.
Asked about the deadline, he initially said 24 hours then changed it to three days. And added: “Don’t fool around with Filipinos because Filipinos are not fools”. Duterte insisted and warned POGOs not to test him, and as a threaten, said that he would personally “slap” any POGO operator that tried an evasion.
Taxation of POGOs has become an intense debate in the Philippine legislature. There were many proposals to impose levies to make sure the government can get a share of online gambling revenue.
The BIR started its crackdown on POGOs on September 25, when it shut down an operator for non-payment of taxes.
This is based on Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez’s order close down all POGOs that fail to settle tax liabilities after revealing that POGOs operating there have approximately PHP 21.62 billion (€381 million) in unpaid taxes.
Since POGOs are licensed and regulated in the Philippines, they had been operating with a lot of freedom. That is the reason why they are so popular with players from neighbouring countries, especially China where online gambling is banned.