Another POGO shut on tax violations

Altech Innovations Business Outsourcing, a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator, has been closed down for failure to pay taxes.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) served closure orders on the two offices of Altech Innovations for non-payment of taxes for its 1,000 mostly Chinese workers. 

According to BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa, Altech violated provisions of the National Revenue Code. The firm owes an estimated P100 million ($1.9 million) in unpaid taxes, which could be higher after the company submits documents.

Guballa added that Altech could resume operations after paying its tax debts and complying with BIR requirements.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) and other regulatory agencies have been cracking down on the online operators. Earlier this month, PAGCOR said it has shut down nearly 200 of the firms in the past few months.

PAGCOR Chair Andrea Domingo said the operations were mostly small, “fly-by-night” companies that were operating illegally.

PAGCOR halted all new POGO licenses in August after concerns about national security. 

Domingo said that the government was not keen on allowing new POGOs to operate in the country, despite an opportunity to attract more after the prohibition of online gaming in Cambodia.