Business

Dominguez confirms POGOs rushing out of PH, leave gaping hole in Bayanihan 2 funds

Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez ha confirmed that Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators and their service providers have started to pack their bags and leave their operations that have been closed for the last six months.

“Last night, I got a call from one of the owners of a building in Makati, who is saying that his POGO and POGO service provider clients have started cancelling their lease contracts for lack of business,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez said China’s move to crack down on offshore casinos and firms catering to the mainland gamblers have sparked the POGO exodus.

“I think the Chinese government is clamping down on money transfer companies…I think the Chinese government has also started cancelling the passports of those people servicing the POGO industry,” said Dominguez.

POGOs were the main driver of surging demand for office space in the last four years which has led to skyrocketing property prices.

Senators asked Dominguez to give an estimate on how much revenues can expect from POGOs after a new system was put in place to increase government’s tax take.

“We are at the moment doing our due diligence and making the estimates,” Dominguez said during the budget hearing Wednesday.

DOF had previously projected to generate at least P17.5 billion in revenues from POGOs with the adoption of a five percent franchise tax on gross bets or a pre-set monthly minimum on revenues under the Bayanihan 2

DOF was counting on POGOs to fill up the P25 billion hole in the P165 billion COVID spending under Bayanihan 2. But with POGOs leaving, the DOF is looking at a much reduced take from POGOs.

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