For industry to grow, gov’t should amend tax on horse racing — Philracom

Published May 18, 2021, 3:59 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Triple Crown winner Heneral Kalentong (Photo from Philracom)

With numerous events happening this year to help the industry continuously recover from the effects of the pandemic, the Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom) is appealing for the amendment of tax laws on horse racing.

While horse racing is slowly picking up its pace with the help of technology, Philracom chairman Aurelio “Reli” De Leon is calling on the national government to ease up the tax on horse racing and keep it at par with the standards of neighboring countries.

“Horse racing will still grow bigger than what we expect today. Sana lang po pakinggan din po ‘yung hiling namin na sana i-align lang ‘yung tax na kinukuha sa horse racing industry today comparable sa Asian racing industry,” De Leon said.

“Napakataas po ng tax natin ngayon. Kung may maibaba po natin ‘yan sa tamang numero, mas lalaki ‘yung benta natin, mas lalaki ‘yung contributions natin sa gobyerno at mas mabibigyan natin ‘yung mga charitable institutions,” he added.

With the loyal customers patronizing digital betting, De Leon said they are targeting P2.8 billion to P3 billion sales in 2021, a leapfrog from their earning of P1.1 billion last year.

Unfortunately, sales would dwindle down from its original figure due to TRAIN law.

Philracom deputy executive director Ronald Corpuz bared that 29.5 percent of their sales goes to tax, way higher than Hong Kong’s 16.5 percent and Singapore’s 20 percent.

De Leon said that they are already appealing to the Congress and Senate to amend the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law which has provisions that affect the racing industry through the increase in the tax on prize winnings and documentary stamp on wager tickets.

“Before the TRAIN law, bumibenta kami ng 7 to 8.2 billion pesos. Noong nagkaroon ng TRAIN law, bumaba kami sa 5 billion,” said De Leon, “Kung wala ‘yung TRAIN, mas malaki ang mabibigay naming contributions.”

“Actually nag-request na po kami sa Congress at Senate para po amyendahan ‘yung tax para po lumaki ang industry in proportion at marami pong matulungan na charities at madagdagan ang employment.”