The Philippine government raised some PHP8.8 billion ($160.78 million) in tax payments from Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) in 2022, according to the Department of Finance, an increase of 127 percent yearly.
The total figure was split between POGO tax payments, at PHP4.35 billion ($79.48 million), and gaming taxes, at PHP3.65 billion ($66.69 million).
The DoF is now estimating that gross gaming revenue (GGR) from POGOs ‘is expected to reach PHP24 billion ($438.51 million) by the end of 2023’, more than double that made in 2022.
The group also notes, according to media, that POGOs contributed some PHP805.99 million ($14.72 million) in income tax, PHP43.2 million ($789,000) in business tax and PHP28.42 million ($519,000) in other taxes. Authorities, however, estimate that there are still billions left in unpaid taxes by the offshore operators.
Despite the crackdown on POGOs recently, there are still around 32 registered offshore operators in the country – a significant drop from over 280 registered pre-pandemic – of these some 61 were under the supervision of PAGCOR – 27 in Makati City, 12 in Pasay and five in Manila – 10 of these were local-based while 51 were considered ‘foreign-based.
While multiple senators, including Sherwin Gatchalian, have urged the nation’s president to shut down POGOs entirely – citing recently uncovered cases of human trafficking – PAGCOR’s Chairman has remained firm in the lawful operators’ contributions.
The authority has pledged to continue its oversight of the offshore operators, going so far as to announce a full review of the existing license holders and a tax increase aimed at weeding out the smaller-scale companies that aren’t making significant contributions.