Prices push POGO exodus

While kidnappings and illegal immigration make for unwelcome headlines for the Philippines’ online gaming industry, what’s really driving recent departures from the country is the rising cost of doing business, especially during an economic downturn. The Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator licenses have been a cash cow for the government since they were introduced in 2016 in response to newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to clean up the industry.  Anyone applying for the license needs to pay $150,000 in processing fees for an e-casino and $200,000 for the license. The company will have to pay $300,000 for a security bond and will need to renew the license every three years for $150,000. The figures are slightly lower for sports betting operations.  The fee is then 2 percent of gross gambling revenue that must be submitted to the Philippine Amusement and Gambling Corp, which has a mandate to submit 50 percent of its...

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