The Department of Finance of the Philippines said that Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) owe around €400 million in taxes.
Philippines.- Around 130 letters have been issued by the Department of Finance of the Philippines urging Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) to pay the taxes they owe. The Bureau of Internal Revenue also warned them that if they don’t pay those taxes, they will face sanctions.
The Department of Finance said that from January to August, it collected €24.5 million. The figure represents a 242% rise from the same period in 2018. However, POGOs that haven’t paid their taxes owe around €400 million.
Caesar Dulay, commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, told the Manila Times that the companies may face closure. He said that they should prepare to face millionaire losses.
“Tell them to cooperate and volunteer to pay. The problem is they don’t respond to our demand letters,” Dulay said. He also said that there are POGOs that are still non-compliant with tax regulations. This is despite the government’s attempt to regularise the system.
Philippines’ online gambling ban wouldn’t have much impact
Philippines Central Bank Governor Benjamin Diokno said that he prefers online gambling operators to leave the country instead of banning the modality. He said that doing so wouldn’t have much impact on the local economy.
Diokno commented on the possible ban after China urged Manila to outlaw the cross-border activities as they argue they present money laundering risks. He ordered a study on the economic impact of stopping online gambling, but he told Reuters that he prefers operators to exit the country.
“There are some benefits, in terms of if they pay their taxes but there are also some risks. I tend to be risk-averse. I’d rather they leave if I have my way,” Diokno said at a business event in Singapore.