POGOs are playing a significant role in the recovery of the COVID-19 induced global economic crisis
In a statement released by the Accredited Service Providers of PAGCOR (ASPAP), Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) are contributing a massive PHP94.7 -104 billion (US$1.87-2.05 billion) to the country’s economy for this year alone.
This after continuing criticism on PAGCOR’s decision to allow POGOs to partially resume their operations after compliance to a strict set of guidelines sent out by the regulator prior to re-opening.
ASPAP spokesperson Atty. Margarita Gutierrez said that the industry’s contributions are not limited to the taxes and fees collected by the government on a monthly basis.
“Revenues which POGOs pump into the economy are way beyond the regulatory fees and taxes directly paid to the authorities.
“We are committed to fully support the country’s roadmap to economic recovery and we hope that all sectors will pour their efforts toward this goal.”
While payment of corporate taxes for 2018 and 2019 amounted to PHP22.4 billion (US$442 million), additional PHP12.25 (US$241 million) was paid in employee taxes and PHP9 billion (US$177 million) in permits and other fees. The spokesperson further stated that the POGO workforce contributes PHP33 billion (US$651 million) annually through rentals, food and other daily expenses.
PAGCOR cited the significant amount of revenue coming from POGOs.
Before PAGCOR took over the licensing of the industry from economic zone authorities, annual remittance to the National Government amounted to around PHP56 million (US$1.12 million).
The regulator said that proper regulation allowed POGO operations to mature and flourish with continuous growth in the coming years.
In 2016, POGO revenues were recorded at PHP73.72 million (US$1.47 million), with significant increase to P3.12 billion (US$64 million) in 2017; while P6.11 billion (US$122 million) in 2018 and P5.73 billion (US$114.6 million) in 2019. Also, from 2016 to 2019, revenues collected from POGOS, including application, processing and regulatory fees, amounted to over P18 billion (US$360 million),” said PAGCOR.
The regulator further reiterated that the government is in serious fight against illegal online gambling in the country, and NOGOs, or non-registered offshore gaming operators are arrested by the Philippine National Police in cooperation with the Bureau of Immigration and the Office of the Cybercrime under the Department of Justice.
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