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There has been a controversy concerning the Philippines Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs). On Monday, the Philippines House Committee on Ways and Means passed a measure that would increase the tax on POGO gross gaming revenues by five per cent. That would be more than double the tariff on internet gaming win, which presently stands at two per cent.

Philippines Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) have paid the country PHP2.66 billion ($52 million) in taxes through the first two quarters of 2019. Nonetheless, a ruling from the Philippines Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) concluded that offshore gaming money could not be taxed.  The ruling stated that an offshore-based operator’s income was the placement of bets on its online betting facility, which were derived from sources outside the Philippines.

Filipino President said that the tax revenue from POGOs was too valuable to eradicate. However, he ordered the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to suspend issuing new licenses. He also directed the Department of Finance and Bureau of Internal Revenue to crack down on operators who were not paying the correct taxes, and also foreigners who were working in the POGOs and were not paying individual income taxes.

China President Xi Jinping has called on Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte to close the internet gaming hubs. According to casino.org Filipinos are banned from accessing the internet casino websites. Instead, the networks target players in other Asian countries, primarily China. It’s believed that many of the POGO staffers are Chinese nationals who have been lured to the Philippines on promises of good pay.

The Chinese officials said that the internet gaming operators need the Chinese citizens in order to communicate in Mandarin with players in mainland China. The measure passed this week in the House additionally calls for a 25 percent tax on any POGO employee earning PHP600, 000 ($11,800) or more annually.

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