Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has informed Inside Asian Gaming that 11 POGO licensees have been granted an Authority to Resume Operations (ARO) by PAGCOR since COVID-19 restrictions were eased in early May.
The Philippines’ Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) revealed on 22 May, three weeks after PAGCOR initially issued clearance for POGOs to resume operations, that not one POGO licensee had been granted permission to operate due to their widespread failure to fully pay outstanding tax obligations. The BIR also warned that any POGO found operating in the meantime would be immediately shut down.
However, in response to inquiries from IAG, PAGCOR revealed over the weekend that 11 POGO licensees have now secured their respective clearances from the BIR and subsequently granted an ARO by PAGCOR.
It added there are also “two POGO licensees who have already submitted their BIR Clearance and are awaiting issuance of ARO, pending the required inspection of their workspaces by our monitoring and enforcement department and settlement of any outstanding arrears with PAGCOR. The rest are still in the process of settling their tax liabilities.”
There are currently 60 licensed POGO operators in the Philippines under which 218 service providers are registered, with the majority still unable to legally operate.