POGOs paid taxes 'under the table' says Locsin

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 03 2020 01:33 PM

Phil-Asian Gaming Expo features offshore games targetting bettors outside the Philippines. Games can be played on desktop or mobile devices. Photos taken at the SMX Convention Center. July 12, 2019. File / Jessica Fenol. ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) did pay their taxes but "under the table” said Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. in a tweet on Thursday.

“The tax-evading POGOs did pay out as you must suspect but under the table which puzzled them. Usually they line up in a revenue office and pay up but this was special: collector whose affiliation to any department was kept a mystery turned up himself like home pick up,” Locsin said.

POGOs usually “line up in a revenue office and pay up” except where a collector turned up “like home pick up,” he added.

Locsin did not elaborate and said only that the collector’s affiliation “was kept a mystery.”

The BIR said in June that offshore gaming firms should not be allowed to reopen unless they pay their tax liabilities in full.

Only 1 Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO) hub has closed so far as authorities seek their full tax compliance, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said earlier. 

Macau-based Suncity Group is transferring its POGO to Cambodia which is dangling tax incentives to lure back operators it had lost to the Philippines. 

Regulators earlier barred mostly Chinese-run POGOs from reopening in quarantine areas unless they settle all tax dues.