The Philippines finance secretary wants rids of POGOs

Only 26 POGOs currently operate in the Philippines.
Only 26 POGOs currently operate in the Philippines.

Benjamin Diokn, The Philippines’ finance secretary, has said the country can do without the POGO industry.

The Philippines.- Benjamin Diokno, secretary of finance in The Philippines, has suggested that the country should abolish Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs). Speaking at a briefing by the Senate Development Budget Coordinating Committee on the 2023 state spending plan, he told senators that he saw the industry as a risk.

According to GMA network, he said: “If you ask my personal opinion on this, let’s discontinue the POGO because of the social cost. It also has a reputational risk because people will ask, ‘Why are they going to the Philippines? They were discontinued in China and Cambodia, why are they going to the Philippines?”

Diokno said that with China and Cambodia having clamped down on online gaming operations, people may deem the Philippines to be too “loose” or “not strict” with its rules.

In July, Victor Padilla, senior manager of PAGCOR’s policy and offshore gaming licensing division, revealed that there are currently only 26 Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs). That compares to 63 before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Analysts have partly attributed the exodus of POGOs to the 5 per cent franchise tax on turnover that the government introduced in a bid to make up budget shortfalls caused by the pandemic.

In this article: