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Department of Labor and Employment tightens requirements for POGOs in the Philippines

It’s been two weeks since the Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued stricter regulations on Philippine iGaming operators (POGO) and there is currently no Philippine offshore iGaming operator or any service provider that has fulfilled their mandatory tax obligations, in other words no iGaming company will be allowed to resume operations before this takes place.

The deputy director of the Philippine (BIR) and the head of the Philippine iGaming operator task force, Arnel Guballa, said on Thursday (21st) that all Philippine iGaming operators and service providers that have resumed work are working “illegal”.

Arnel Guballa, started that all Philippine iGaming operators and service providers that have resumed work are working “illegal”.

The BIR has issued more specific tax guidelines on May 6 and required Philippine iGaming operators and their service providers to resume operations after meeting all requirements.

Guballa said that as of now, all Philippine offshore iGaming operators are still “completing or meeting all requirements, including paying taxes.”

He added that according to the agency’s records, there is certainly no operator that can meet the requirements and resume work at this stage.

He also warned that illegal operators may be ordered to be shut down by the National Bureau of Investigation or the Philippine National Police, and local government departments can also shut down Philippine offshore gaming operators who do not have business licenses.

Guballa pointed out that when the Philippine iGaming operators can resume operations will depend on when they complete the relevant requirements. The sooner they pay all taxes, the sooner they will get the permission.

Guballa refused to disclose how much is the unpaid taxes.

Before being asked by the Philippine media how many Philippine iGaming operators need to settle the relevant taxes, Philippine BIR Director Caesar R. Dulay replied: “Many, almost all.”

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), as a regulatory agency, has issued operating licenses to approximately 60 iGaming operators, while there are 218 Philippine iGaming operators registered with the Philippine BIR. The latter employs more than 108,000 foreign workers, most of them, from China.

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