Business

BIR clearance or Xi Jinping pressure? Suncity abandons Manila online gaming – Pagcor

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) confirmed that Asia’s dominant casino junket operator Suncity Group has terminated its Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) license.

This was confirmed by Pagcor chair Andrea Domingo Sunday night, July 28.

“”Yes, Suncity has left…there are others more that are leaving the Philippines,” said Domingo in a statement.

Related Story: Beginning of the end? Chinese embassy confirms purge on POGO workers through passport cancellations

Domingo blamed the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s hardline stance on demanding that POGOs get their tax clearance first before resuming operations that have been closed since the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine in March 13.

Curiously, Suncity’s departure from Manila came after its online gaming website, 138.com, has gone offline since May.

Related Story: Duterte ignores Xi Jinping, POGO stays

Calvinayre.com reported that Suncity has come under pressure from its shareholders to heed China President Xi Jinping’s call to stop offshore casinos serving millions of gambling addicts in China.

“In July 2019, Suncity found itself in the uncomfortable crosshairs of Chinese state media, which accused the company of being the single largest online gambling operator targeting customers on the Chinese mainland, where gambling of any form other than the state-run lotteries is strictly illegal,” the report said.

Related Story: China cancels passports of citizens working for POGOs as Duterte ignores Xi’s ban request

“Suncity publicly insisted that all its activities were legal in the jurisdictions in which they were licensed to operate. However, Suncity was running lucrative online ‘proxy betting’ operations from its Philippine-based VIP rooms, and the company eventually agreed that it would in future not operate any services that were illegal under the laws of Macau,” the report added.

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