Pogos fewer but sector changing for the better | Inquirer Business

Pogos fewer but sector changing for the better

/ 02:07 AM January 16, 2024

Pogos fewer but sector changing for the better

MANILA  —Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) chair and CEO Alejandro Tengco has rejected calls to fully ban Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos), saying this will cause job losses as he reported that recent industry crackdown has made revenue collections more efficient.

The Department of Finance (DOF) and National Economic and Development Authority last month supported proposals to ban Pogos, citing their negative social impact and relatively small economic contribution, but Tengco said thousands of workers and businesses were also on the line.


“I’m not an economist but I’m thinking about the 68,000 Filipino workers. Where will we put them?,” Tengco said during a discussion on Monday with business reporters and editors.


READ: Neda chief supports banning Pogos, agrees on ‘social costs’

The imposition of new taxes and registration rules cut the number of Pogos, which were reclassified last year as internet gaming licensees, or IGLs, partly due to the negative public perception surrounding Pogos.

The DOF also warned that the Philippines faced reputational risks since Pogos could be avenues for money laundering activities.

Meanwhile, Tengco said their crackdown had helped cut down Pogo operations from about 200 companies to the current 48. More importantly, he said these 48 companies contributed revenues of P5 billion in 2023 versus P7 billion during their prepandemic peak, meaning collection is more efficient today versus that during the Duterte administration.

Pogo-related crime incidents likewise declined from the time when there were large numbers of unlicensed firms, Tengco said.

“Those lawless elements without a Pogo license have been cut,” he said.


READ: POGOs should be strictly regulated, not banned!

Tengco said he was not opposed to having more Pogos or IGLs doing business in the Philippines, although there are currently no new applications amid the industry exodus that started during the pandemic.

Pagcor had also issued new rules that required all Pogos to reapply for new license and undergo stricter screening process.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

He said several of these firms have transported their operations from the Philippines to Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, where global casino operators are setting up shop.

Pogos that have left also asked Pagcor for assistance in referring laid-off workers to consider job opportunities abroad. INQ

TAGS: Business, Pagcor, POGOs

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.