DOF backs more taxes for online gambling firms

Ralf Rivas
DOF backs more taxes for online gambling firms

Rappler

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez supports the plan of Albay Representative Joey Salceda to slap more taxes on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators and their service providers

MANILA, Philippines – The government agency tasked to look for cash to fund the Duterte administration’s projects is looking at gambling revenues to further boost collections.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said on Tuesday, October 22, that he supported the plan of Albay Representative Joey Salceda to file a bill that would slap a 5% franchise tax on revenues generated by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) and their service providers. 

Salceda, who heads the House of Representatives’ ways and means committee, is also proposing a gaming tax of $10,000 a month per table for a live set-up casino and a $5,000 a month gaming tax for random number generator-based games. A $1,000 presumptive corporate income tax per seat for POGOs was also proposed.

Dominguez pointed out that under existing revenue rules, POGOs are already subject to a 5% franchise tax. (WATCH: EXPLAINER: How online casinos hit the jackpot in the Philippines)

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has so far collected P1.6 billion in withholding taxes from POGOs and their service providers from January to August this year.  

These online gaming firms paid only P175 million in withholding taxes in 2017 and P579 million in 2018. The BIR has recently clamped down on several tax-dodging POGOs. 

These taxes are still separate from what the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) are getting from POGOs.

To start operations, gaming firms each need to shell out a total of around P47 million and pay Pagcor several fees every month.

Pagcor then remits a portion of its earnings to the government. – Rappler.com

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.