Philippines Senate considers its own POGO tax bill


With the Philippines House of Representatives voting yes on new Philippine Offshore Gambling Operator (POGO) taxes, the question is not if the Senate will approve, but when. Several senators indicate it’s just a matter of time.In a message to BusinessWorld, Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III the Senate would “most probably” pass their own POGO tax bill. also pass a bill taxing POGO workers.Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto, who has his own POGO bill with a 30% tax rate, thinks they can put something together. “Surely, we can reconcile both bills,” he wrote to the outlet. “Government needs all the taxes/revenue it can collect from the industry.”Senator Juan Edgardo M. Angara believes the bill is necessary to keep in the industry in check. “It is better to have a regulated and supervised gaming industry rather than one that exists underground,” he commented.What’s unclear is how Mr. Angara expects new taxes to increase supervision of the POGO industry. Perhaps it was a thinly veiled critique of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).The government was forced to push for new POGO taxes when an early January ruling by the Supreme Court went in the industry’s favor, declaring the 5% turnover tax null and void. Recto noted that the “peculiarity of the nature of its business activity creates confusion in the enforcement of our existing tax laws.”In response to that ruling, the House of Representatives quickly got to work, passing House Bill No. 5777 on February 8. The new bill would reimpose a 5% tax of gross gaming receipts, as well as a 25% income tax on employeesAs the government scrambles to legally take their pound of flesh, the real estate sector is getting ready for more bad news. New estimates from Colliers International Philippines projected the office vacancy rate of Metro Manila to rise to 12.5% in 2021, up from 9% in 2020. They cite the POGO exodus and continuing Covid-19 restrictions as a cause for the expected rise.That number was partially calculated based on POGOs getting their Supreme Court tax break though, with the assumption they’d start coming back once travel restrictions ease up. With new taxes coming in, the real number could end up being a bit worse.

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Posted on 12:08 am

Philippines iGaming industry facing potential tax shake-up

In the Philippines and a proposal is reportedly making its way through the legislative process that could soon oblige all locally-licensed iGaming operators to pay up to a 5% tax on their gross gaming revenues.
According to a report from the news website at Rappler.com, House Bill 5777 was passed by the Philippines House of Representatives via a 198 to 13 margin on Monday and is soon set to be put before the Philippines Senate. The source detailed that the legislation will now become law if it can survive three readings by this 24-member body and subsequently receive the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte.
International income:
Should this measure become the law of the land and the domain reported that iGaming firms with a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) license would escape all existing levies, fees and franchising duties in exchange for agreeing to hand over 5% of their gross gaming revenues in tax. The proposed legislation sponsored by representative Jose ‘Joey’ Salceda (pictured) would moreover purportedly institute a 25% ‘withholding’ levy on all foreign nationals employed by such enterprises earning a salary of more than about $12,400.
Estimated earnings:
The Philippines is reportedly home to 51 firms holding a POGO license although only 34 of these have so far been granted permission to resume operations in the wake of the nation’s coronavirus-induced lockdown. Such iGaming ventures are currently required to pay a 5% tax on their net income with proponents of the new legislation purportedly hopeful that the envisioned change in terms would allow the state to bring in approximately $935 million in annual taxes.
Legal legitimacy:
Despite these anticipated financial gains, the Deputy Minority Leader for the Philippines House of Representatives, Carlos Zarate, was reportedly one of those to oppose the passage of House Bill 5777 over concerns that doing so would further legitimize an industry that only entered the country due to its proximity to China, which has outlawed all forms of online gambling.
Reportedly read a statement from Zarate…
“POGOs were created to serve as a ‘legal loophole’ so residents from countries where gambling is illegal, like China, can still engage in such activities. We are against the plan of our government to open our country to gambling activities that are not only illegal in other nations but are often linked to other criminal activities.”
Ancillary anxiety:
In its report on the matter and Inside Asian Gaming explained that House Bill 5777 would not levy the 5% gross revenues tax on the 131 firm’s currently accredited to offer services to those holding a POGO license. However, this source detailed that such enterprises would remain subject to analogous local and national duties so long as they had first settled any outstanding liabilities, penalties and fees.
Salceda reportedly proclaimed…
“New revenues come primarily from classifying service providers as regular corporations and including their alien employees in the presumed minimum taxable income system and allowing the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and special economic zones to levy regulatory fees of up to 2%.”

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Posted on 6:48 pm

Philippines gambling report: cockfighting revenue up, lottery sales down


Gambling regulators in the Philippines are grappling with a problem that is likely relatively unique to their local gaming markets. Officials are blaming a rise in unregulated online cockfighting as the driver behind a recent slump in national lottery ticket sales. But could online cockfighting really be the sole driver behind the drop?
Cockfighting is incredibly popular throughout the Philippines and even the smallest towns have a cockfighting pit where locals can legally wager on the birds. Though cockfighting is considered cruelty to animals in most western nations, where it’s almost universally illegal, it’s simply not viewed that way in the Philippines. Cockfighting is a legal form of gambling in most parts of the country, though online cockfighting is not.
Recently, officials from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) publicly stated that unregulated online cockfighting was the culprit behind a recent slump in ticket sales. In a statement quoted on CalvinAyre.com, PCSO general manager Royina Garma drew a direct line from the lottery dip to unregulated online cockfighting (or sabong as it’s referred to locally) saying, “Definitely, lottery sales are affected by online sabong. The problem is that cockfighting itself is typically legal. “As far as I know, [the cockpit is] legal because they have permits from local governments. But online cockfights are illegal,”
Garma encouraged local authorities, who license in-person cockfighting pits, to crack down on those operators who stream the action. How well that will work at a local level remains to be seen.
Of course another route would be to legalize online cockfighting and take a chunk of the gambling action that accompanies the activity. And that’s exactly what gambling regulators and lawmakers are considering.
What none of the NSCO officials seem to be considering is that maybe unregulated online cockfighting isn’t the culprit behind the lotto slump. Given the fact that plenty of Filipinos are unable to work internationally in the cruise industry (to name just one example) and many others have been quarantined at various points, it’s also possible the impact of the global pandemic is the problem, not online cockfighting.
The post Philippines gambling report: cockfighting revenue up, lottery sales down appeared first on .

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Posted on 12:26 pm

Rich Goldman Holdings Limited issues profit warning

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Asian junket operator Rich Goldman Holdings Limited has reportedly announced that it expects to detail a loss of approximately $2.32 million for the six months to the end of December owing to depressed demand linked to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the Hong-based firm revealed that it intends to publish its audited financial results for the six-month period at the end of February with the anticipated result set to represent a decrease of 200% year-on-year. The source detailed that the enterprise formerly known as Neptune Group Limited blamed the expected shortfall on coronavirus alongside the cessation in April of its long-standing association with a fellow junket firm that had run eight VIP gaming tables inside Macau’s iconic Casino Grand Lisboa property, which is owned by SJM Holdings Limited.
Compounding concern:
Rich Goldman Holdings Limited reportedly divulged that associated six-month revenues from its hotel operations are moreover expected to have crashed by at least $258,000 year-on-year due to the coronavirus-induced downturn in business to leave it with a minimum impairment loss of some $1.5 million and a fair value setback on its investment properties of around $774,000.
Promising prospects:
However, the Hong Kong-listed operator reportedly also explained that these losses are to be partially offset by an expected increase of about $645,000 in revenues from its money lending business. It pronounced that its prospects are to furthermore benefit from an alliance it signed in December that is to see it launch a VIP gaming parlor inside the Philippines’ 800-room Solaire Resort and Casino venue from Bloomberry Resorts Corporation.
Read a statement (pdf) from Rich Goldman Holdings Limited…
“The company is still in the course of finalizing the results for the 2020 interim period. Therefore, the actual financial results for the 2020 interim period may differ from the information contained in this announcement. Shareholders and potential investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of the company.”

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Posted on 12:18 am

Philippines lottery sees lower sales as online cockfighting takes off


Online cockfighting is one of the Philippines solutions to dwindling gambling tax revenues, but could it sabotage another important vertical? The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) says they’ve seen lower sales since e-sabong blew up in 2020.Although online cockfighting is still not legal and regulated, it’s increasing in popularity, and PCSO general manager Royina Garma says that’s a problem. “Definitely, lottery sales are affected by online sabong,” Garma said.The problem is that cockfighting itself is typically legal. “As far as I know, [the cockpit is] legal because they have permits from local governments. But online cockfights are illegal,” Garma said.She urged the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation and local government to go after illegal online offerings. Local governments in particular, who issue permits for cockpits, should investigate if any online offering is coming from their territory. Start looking for webcams, boys!The PCSO is still struggling from a five-month Covid-19 related shutdown, Garma said. She said the charity agency’s revenue collection dropped by 57.68 percent, from P44.02 billion ($92 million) in 2019 to only P18.63 billion ($39 million) last year.There’s likely some truth that with cockfighting available online, less people are going out to buy lottery tickets. However, there’s likely a lot more truth that, with a country still partly shutdown by quarantines, a lot of people are out of work and simply unable to afford a lottery ticket, if they can find an open outlet.Still, if Garma is right, the government is doing everything it can to get cockfighting legalized and taxed as soon as possible. The Philippines House of Representatives have already voted in favor of it, and wait on the Senate to consider the bill.Legalizing cockfighting will not only allow the government to start generating revenue off the activity and stop a mostly fruitless attempt to shut it down, but also open up opportunities abroad. As Philippines Amusement and Gambling Corporation (PAGCOR) chairwoman Andrea Domingo noted in December, they hope the Philippines could become an online leader in cockfighting, offering it to other regions like Latin America and India.

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Posted on 3:36 pm

Philippines House passes new POGO tax bill


The Philippines House of Representatives are trying to fixt their online gambling taxation problem. The House voted 198-13-2 to pass House Bill 5777 on February 8, creating an opportunity for President Rodrigo Duterte and the Senate to finally get the tax revenues they want from the Philippine Offshore Gambling Operators (POGOs).Rappler broke the news early Monday evening:Bill 5777 had been under consideration since late January, as the Philippines was forced to pass a bill to bump on taxes on the industry. A Supreme Court ruling in early January ruled that the 5% turnover tax the government was attempting to collect was unconstitutional.The bill allows for the following taxes to be collected:“Offshore gaming licensees (OGL) (or the POGOs themselves) – 5% of gross gaming receipts and revenues from other services. This is consistent with international practice. This is also consistent with the House’s position on taxing offsite betting activities (House Bill No. 8065, approved by the House on December 15, 2020, uses gross receipts or commissions, the equivalent of GGR, as its tax base).“Nonresident aliens who are employees of OGLs – A final tax of 25% of gross annual income, remitted annually to the BIR, with presumptive minimum tax base of P600,000 gross annual income. This will be remitted quarterly and in advance.“Service providers – Regular corporate income tax, all applicable local and national taxes. The argument that service providers are akin to business process outsourcing (BPO) activities and are thus entitled to export incentives is laid to rest as the law defines OGLs as considered to be ‘doing business in the Philippines.’”A policy brief by the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) explains the many other provisions made by the bill. Notably, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Bureau of Immigration (BI), and Department of Labor (DOLE) are mandated to exchange information so all taxes can properly be collected.While this bill could soon set up a new tax regime for the industry, the CPBRD teased that the conversation around POGOs is far from over.“But while HB 5777 addresses the tax revenue aspect of OGLs, there are other considerations such as socio-cultural, economic, governance, political and national security issues that must be taken into account in order to understand the net benefits (i.e. benefits minus costs) of the offshore gaming industry to the Philippines.”

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Posted on 11:41 am

Manila’s Metro Card Club reopens its doors this afternoon, February 5, 2021


Manila has been one of the fastest growing poker hubs in the Asia Pacific region having hosted a number of major international tournaments in recent years. Poker clubs have sprung up left and right in the last decade with the local poker community growing alongside it. A steady stream of daily and monthly tournaments always seemed to be a hit back when Covid-19 was not an issue. However, with the virus remaining an imminent threat in the capital, local players have had to wait for its most popular poker room to finally reopen its doors to the public.
Joining the PokerStars Live poker room in Okada Manila, the Metro Card Club located in the Ortigas Center has at long last announced its reopening after an 11-month temporary shutdown. While further details are yet to be known, the largest poker room in the metro will once again welcome its visitors at 5pm sharp later today.
Strict precautions such as wearing of face masks while inside the establishment and regulated disinfection practices will be implemented to ensure overall safety of both guests and staff. Proper social distancing measures will also be carried out, limiting the number of players per table to a maximum of six.

The post made yesterday on the Club’s official Facebook account has so far received positive feedback from more than 300 followers. Over 80 profiles have shared their excitement regarding the scheduled opening with a crowd possibly brewing as the weekend draws near.
While the move is very much welcomed by the local poker community, it is essential that public health and safety be prioritized to ensure a continuous recovery for live poker in the country. A big step forward for the industry, all are hoping that the reopening will lead to the normalcy it ultimately once had.
Janette DeeGraduated from De La Salle University, Janette works as a full time teacher in Manila, Philippines. She has long joined the local poker community as a recreational player for the last decade. Having a natural love for the game, she decided to branch out into a different avenue of poker. Currently, Janette works for Somuchpoker as a content writer reporting local and international news for the site.More Posts – Website

Tags:
Manila, Metro Card Club, News, Philippines

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Posted on 9:37 am

รายรับของ PAGCOR ลดลง 84% ในปี 2564


หลังจากครึ่งปีของการปิดคาสิโน Philippine Entertainment and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) มีรายได้ที่น่าผิดหวังในปี 2020 ผู้ดำเนินการควบคุมมีรายได้ 1.57 พันล้าน P (32 32.7 ล้าน) ลดลงประมาณ 84.84 เปอร์เซ็นต์จาก P9.66 พันล้านในปีที่แล้ว ก่อนหน้านี้การซื้อกิจการในปี 2020 ลดลงอย่างมากเนื่องจากการเล่นเกมซึ่งลดลงจาก 75 พันล้าน PHP เหลือ 60 ปีเป็น 30.00 พันล้าน ในจำนวนนี้ 7. 7.14 พันล้านคนมาจากผู้ใช้คาสิโนและมากกว่า 27 พันล้าน P จากแหล่งต่างๆเช่น Junkets ผู้ใช้ที่ไม่ใช่คาสิโนและรายได้ “อื่น ๆ ” รายได้จากคาสิโนที่ได้รับอนุญาตอยู่ที่ 11.52 พันล้านบาท ขยะเหลือเพียง 397.8 ล้านบาท ในที่สุดผู้ประกอบการการพนันชายฝั่งของฟิลิปปินส์ (POGO) สูญเสียอย่างน้อย 18.7% เป็น 4 P4.66 พันล้าน ภาษีปิดสูงถึง 16 พันล้านดอลลาร์สหรัฐและเงินช่วยเหลือของรัฐบาลถูกตัดออก ข้อดีอย่างหนึ่งของปี 2020 คือการลดการใช้จ่ายลง 42% จาก 32.24 พันล้าน P ก่อนหน้าเหลือ 18.68 พันล้าน P แต่เนื่องจากต้นทุนที่หักลดหย่อน “โครงการความรับผิดชอบต่อสังคมขององค์กร” จึงอยู่ในระดับต่ำโดยลดลงจาก 13.62 พันล้านบาทเป็น 4.75 พันล้านบาท ไม่มีความเห็นว่าทำไมบอร์ดถึงลดลง แต่จริงๆแล้วไม่จำเป็นต้องใช้มากนัก คาสิโน 19 lockouts บังคับให้คาสิโนปิดระหว่างเดือนมีนาคมถึงกันยายนทำให้แทบไม่มีรายได้เลยครึ่งปี นอกจากนี้เนื่องจากโรคระบาดและความพยายามของรัฐบาลในการขึ้นภาษีการเติบโตของ POGO ที่เป็นไปได้จึงถูกลดทอนลง หากรายได้ปี 2020 สำหรับ PAGCOR จะได้รับการชำระคืนภายในปี 2020 มันจะขึ้นอยู่กับการเปิดคาสิโนใหม่ทั้งหมดและความสามารถของการพนันออนไลน์ในท้องถิ่นผ่านภาพสดและการชนไก่ การพัฒนาคาสิโนใหม่อย่างต่อเนื่องคาดว่าจะกระตุ้นตลาดในอีกไม่กี่ปีข้างหน้าทำให้ PAGCOR สามารถเพิ่มจำนวนคาสิโนที่ได้รับใบอนุญาตให้มากที่สุดเท่าที่จะเป็นไปได้หวังว่าและเมื่อการถ่ายทอดสดดำเนินไปการเติบโตในอุตสาหกรรมนี้สามารถคาดหวังได้

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Posted on 4:09 pm