Philippines Requiring POGOs to Prove Taxes Paid Before Operations Can Begin Again

Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) were told to temporarily stop offering gambling services in the Philippines due to the global pandemic. They will be able to resume online gambling services soon but must adhere to strict guidelines. In the mix of things to follow, POGOs must prove that paid all of their taxes in order to get started once again.

First, POGOs must prove that they are registered correctly in the Philippines. They must also show that income taxes as well as franchise fees were paid in 2019. On top of that, operators must show that they paid withholding taxes for January to April of this year, and that franchise fees were paid as well.

Including the proof must be information detailing payments of a withholding tax for foreign employees. Late last year, the government of the Philippines approved a bill that implemented a 5% franchise tax as well as a 25% withholding tax on the money earned by foreign workers. This was done as part of a crackdown of license holders who were dodging tax payments.

Over the past few years, POGOs have gaining in popularity and employs hundreds of thousands of people. The majority of the work force are Chinese nationals and the operations cater mostly to the market in Mainland China.

Operators who do not comply with the requirements and guidelines created will not be given approval to resume gaming. Every point must be adhered to or it’s a no-go. POGOs were instructed by regulators to make sure that all safety and health protocols are followed based on published guidelines.

Such guidelines include limiting operations each shift as well as providing shuttle services for employees and completing regular temperature checks. The workplace is to be cleaned and sanitized along with social distancing practices implemented. Masks are also to be worn.

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