Only 32 of the 60 iGaming firms holding a POGO license have so far been allowed to revive operations post-lockdown
Prominent Isle of Man-based services provider Affinity Group says it has recently seen a huge increase from POGOs considering moving their operations from the Philippines due to a recent tax hike on licences.
Affinity Group director Alex Gardner said: “The Philippines has historically been a jurisdiction chosen by Asian-facing operators but, following the recent negative press surrounding POGO and more recently the tax increase, we have seen an influx of enquiries from operators who are looking for a suitable license to either continue or start targeting the Asian market.”
Alex Gardner further explained that only 32 of the 60 iGaming firms holding a POGO license have so far been allowed to revive operations post-lockdown, although under the confines of a highly controversial directive that has imposed a 30% capacity limit on employees in their Philippines offices.
Adding to the difficult situation for operators Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte passed legislation last month that is to more than double the domestic tax rate for online gambling operators. POGOs will now be obliged to pay a 5% tax on turnover rather than the previous 2% duty on revenues. The tax increase is linked to the effort by the government of the Philippines to bring in at least $216.7 million in additional annual funds to help counter the nationwide impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
SiGMA News recently reported the POGO exodus in the Philippines and Magnus Karlsson from iGaming Asia commented: “The golden goose is finally dead.”
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