THE Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corp. (PAGCOR) has stopped accepting applications for new
Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs).
Pagcor Chairman Andrea Domingo said the state-run firm imposed the moratorium last week.
“We will no longer accept applications until we have reviewed and comfortably addressed the concerns of everybody [about POGOs],” Domingo told reporters on Monday.
Pagcor had issued licenses to 58 operators that employ 214 service providers. Three more applications are pending.
The moratorium will last until the end of the year.
“We should be able to come up with a viable and good program. If we need to change policies, if we have to amend operating procedures, we will be ready to have that by the end of the year,” Domingo said.
By next year, the Pagcor will decide if the number of operators could be increased, she added.
Domingo believes the POGO sector is on track to meet its revenue target of P8 billion this year and P9 billion to P10 billion next year.
Since 2016, the industry has earned P16 billion.
Recently, POGO operations had been under government scrutiny because of reports that the sector employed undocumented workers from China, who do not pay taxes to the government.
This prompted the issuance of joint guidelines by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Justice, Department of Labor and Employment, and the Bureau of Immigration requiring foreign workers to secure tax identification numbers when applying for special work permits, alien employment permits or provisional work permits.