A law firm handling many Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) said its clients have no plans of closing due to stringent government regulations on online games.
A senior partner of the firm who declined to be named explained that many POGOs have temporarily shelved their tax clearance applications with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) due to the pandemic.
The lawyer said POGOs, like other businesses, have been severely affected by the pandemic and decided to suspend operations.
He said foreign players, mostly from China, where the virus originated, have apparently lost their appetite in the online betting because of the health crisis.
“This is probably the reason why many POGOs have not submitted their tax clearance petitions with the BIR,” he said.
The lawyer said the BIR has processed and approved only 11 applications.
There is total of 218 POGOs in the country, employing more than 100,000 foreign workers, mostly from China.The Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp. has required POGOs to settle their unpaid taxes with the BIR before before restarting the games.