Leechiu Property Consultants CEO David Leechiu has warned that a ban could hurt the Philippine economy.
The Philippines.- Leechiu Property Consultants CEO David Leechiu has warned that a proposal to ban online gaming in the Philippines, including POGOs and PIGOs (offshore and domestic betting and wagering), could seriously hurt the economy. He told The Inquirer a ban could cost the Philippines PHP200bn (US$3.39m) a year in office and residential rentals, income tax, electricity bills, wages and regulatory revenues.
Leechiu says the government would also lose an estimated PHP5.8bn in government taxes, while the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) would lose PHP5.25bn in revenue. In addition, 347,000 workers could lose their jobs if the remaining POGOs close.
The country has already been affected by the ban on e-sabong operations, which financial institutions says has cost the Philippines an estimated PHP5bn in lost potential revenue for the year. In August, The Manila Standard reported that almost 3.2 million Filipino workers had been affected by the prohibition of e-sabong.
The proposal to ban POGOs comes after reports of kidnappings. The PAGCOR carried out a raid together with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to rescue 40 foreign nationals who were working at an illegal offshore gaming company.
PAGCOR and DILG ordered the closure of the illegal establishment in Angeles City. The government then announced that starting from October 1, it will deport 281 Chinese citizens who were illegally employed by online gambling operators.