As of September 14, the Philippine News Agency reported that, the licenses of 175 Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) had been revoked by the country's gaming authority. Jose Dominic Clavano, the country's Department of Justice's assistant spokesperson, was quoted in the article.
There are presently 30 licensed POGO companies in the Philippines, according to the government-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), while there were dozens that were operating before Covid-19.
About 40,000 Chinese nationals, according to Mr. Clavano, were employed by the POGOs whose permits were revoked. The action was a part of a campaign by the Philippine government to target the online gaming sector.
Before the arrival of Covid-19 in early 2020, the industry has experienced exponential growth. Many POGOs have shut down, and the causes have been attributed to the pandemic and rising taxation.
According to Mr. Clavano, "the crackdown was triggered by reports of murder, kidnapping and other crimes committed by Chinese nationals against fellow Chinese nationals."
In accordance with the report, the licenses of the POGOs that were intended for closure had either expired or been revoked due to violations like failure to pay government fees, according to Mr. Clavano.
By the first week of October, the official stated, 300 Chinese nationals who had overstayed their visas would be repatriated to China. According to Mr. Clavano, between 3,000 and 4,000 more will likely be repatriated by mid-October.
In a statement, the Chinese embassy in Manila stated that it supports the decision of deportation and clampdown on crimes associated to POGO. They continued by sayint that the Chinese government "firmly opposes and takes tough measures to combat gambling."
According to David Leechiu, CEO of real estate consulting firm Leechiu Property Consultants, a total shutdown of the POGO sector could cause the Philippine economy to lose PHP190 billion (US$3.23 billion) annually in office and residential rentals, income taxes, utility costs, wages, and regulatory revenues, among other things.
By fLEXI tEAM