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Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) have won a reprieve from a punishing franchise tax, which may stop the exodus from the country, but uncertainty over business conditions remains high, industry insiders say.
With much of the noise this week coming from the shenanigans downunder at the Crown Resorts inquiry, it would have been easy to miss more signs of trouble for Philippines Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs.)
The Philippine government’s target to double revenue from online gambling looks to be on shaky ground, as only half the operators have resumed business following Covid-19 and other licensing jurisdictions look to benefit from the fallout.
The regulator of the Philippines online gambling industry, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has warned for some time now that online operators could be leaving the country for greener pastures.
While kidnappings and illegal immigration make for unwelcome headlines for the Philippines’ online gaming industry, what’s really driving recent departures from the country is the rising cost of doing business, especially during an economic downturn.