Philippines loses POGOs to Asean peers

Published by rudy Date posted on August 28, 2021

by Elijah Felice Rosales – The Philippine Star, 28 Aug 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The government expects income from Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) to plunge to P4 billion this year as most of them have relocated to other Southeast Asian countries at the height of the pandemic.

In a budget hearing yesterday, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) president and CEO Andrea Domingo said several offshore gaming operators left the country and moved their offices to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

“More than half have already closed. They went to Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos,” Domingo said, when asked by legislators on the status of POGOs in the Philippines.

As such, PAGCOR expects revenue from offshore gaming operations to decline to P4 billion this year, less than half of what used to be earned from offshore gaming at P9 billion a year.

Domingo said the agency only collected P1.6 billion from POGO operations in the first semester.

“Our income from POGOs used to reach P8 billion to as much as P9 billion per year, but now, in the last six months for example, we only reached P1.6 billion from POGOs. By the end of 2021, we may only collect P4 billion from them,” Domingo said.

As of Aug. 6, the number of POGOs in the country decreased to 36, from at least 60 pre-pandemic, while the number of service providers crashed to 133, from a high of 300.

Likewise, proposals to slap POGOs with five percent tax on their gross receipts and foreign workers in POGOs with 25 percent tax on their gross income were just transmitted to President Duterte on Thursday, based on records from the House of Representatives.

As casinos, particularly in Metro Manila, remain closed as directed by authorities, PAGCOR strengthened its regulatory monitoring on digital gambling, including online sabong.

Domingo said PAGCOR earns a minimum of P375 million a month from online sabong, and this will increase once the agency approves new permits to complete the threshold of 12 licensees. As mandated, operators should remit P75 million monthly to PAGCOR whether or not they generate income.

According to Domingo, online sabong is estimated to bring in revenues of around P3.5 billion for this year alone.

Last year, PAGCOR’s net income fell by more than 82 percent to P1.55 billion from P8.84 billion in 2019 as revenues sank by over 56 percent to P36 billion from P81.97 billion.

For 2021, the gambling regulator expects to make the same amount of income, from P35 billion to P38 billion.

Month – Workers’ month

“Hot for workers rights!”


Solidarity with CTU Myanmar,
trade unions around the world,
for democracy in Myanmar,
with the daily protests of
people in Myanmar against
the military coup and
continuing oppression.


Accept National Unity Government
(NUG) of Myanmar.
Reject Military!

#WearMask #WashHands

Time to support & empower survivors.
Time to spark a global conversation.
Time for #GenerationEquality to #orangetheworld!
Trade Union Solidarity Campaigns
Get Email from NTUC
Article Categories