Philippines Set To Become Offshore Online Gaming Powerhouse In 2020
The National Tax Research Center (NTRC) in the Philippines recently released a report that attested to the vast untapped potential of the country for offshore gaming operators worldwide. The NTRC’s report—entitled “Profile and Taxation of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations”—described the Philippines’ socioeconomic and political context as particularly favorable to online casinos when compared to other Asian countries.
Experts and industry watchers predict that the offshore gaming market worldwide will garner more than $60 billion in revenues by 2020, with countries such as the Philippines leading the charge. Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) have significantly increased in the Philippines in the last couple of years and though they have faced a few challenges in 2019, it appears that the offshore online gambling industry in the country will only get bigger in 2020.
Since POGOs are licensed and regulated in the Philippines, they operate with a lot of freedom and are popular with players from neighbouring countries, especially China where online gambling is banned. Players who visit these online casinos that are operated by POGOs can be assured that the games at these websites are fair and that winnings will be paid out to players.
Offshore gaming operators in the Philippines will also find that setting up shop in the country is easier than other countries. In addition to tax incentives to gaming operators, the Philippines can also offer cheap real estate, existing infrastructure for high-speed Internet and consistent power, as well as a large workforce that is cheaper, college-educated and have no problems speaking in English.
POGOs can continue to thrive in the Philippines provided they comply with the tax laws as a some POGOs have got themselves into trouble for dodging their tax duties.
President Duterte Warns POGOs
From 2016 to 2018 PAGCOR collected P9.47 billion in gaming taxes and P2.52 billion from fees levied on POGOs. The NTRC believes that revenue from the offshore gaming industry can be increased further by making its tax incentives easier to understand.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has conducted several high-profile raids of POGOs who the BIR claimed were not fulfilling their tax obligations to the Philippine government. President Rodrigo Duterte, weighed in on the issue recently and sent out a strong warning to POGOs to start paying their taxes correctly and on time or risk facing his wrath!