Philippines: House approves online cockfighting tax

Content Team 3 years ago
Philippines: House approves online cockfighting tax

The proposal is expected to raise an estimated P1.25billion on its first full year of implementation

In the Philippines, on Tuesday, The House of Representatives approved Bill 8065 which imposes new taxes on offsite betting on locally-licenced games, including electronic betting on cockfighting, locally known as “sabong.”

The bill passed by a vote of 215-1 and will now be passed on to the Senate for its own deliberations. Once passed as a law, it would amend section 125 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Joey Sarte Salceda (pictured), believes the new e-sabong tax would not be “causing any economic harm,” stating:Joey Salceda

Wagering is a demand inelastic non-essential…The operations of online betting on sabong are authorised by local ordinances. Because of the digital shift, there are now electronic betting operations on such games. But the electronic aspect of it is a grey area, even though the airwaves is national property.

Salceda had filed a House Bill, aiming to collect a 5% tax on gross revenues from legal sabong betting events and derbies.

He also said that the proposal is expected to raise at least P1.25 billion ($26 million) on its first full year of implementation, which would multiply the current BIR collection of P13.7 million from cockpits by more than 90 times, adding:

Simply put, it’s an untaxed activity where taxes will not harm the economy. The conclusion is obvious on the revenue aspect. Let’s make better use of the industry, while regulating it. The bill taxes an existing industry that is not yet being taxed, without causing any economic harm, as wagering is a demand inelastic non-essential.

At the Asia Gaming Brief Pop-up, PAGCOR chairwoman Andrea Domingo expressed her hopes for the Philippines to become a world-leader in online cockfighting, hoping local operators could offer it to countries in Latin America, an untapped market, if everything becomes successful.

In late October, a Philippine police chief was killed in an attempt to break up an illegal cockfight after he was slashed by a razor-sharp metal blade attached to a rooster’s leg, in the village of Madugang in the Northern Samar province.

Source: Pressreader

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