The Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations tax law generated P1.22 billion in additional revenue since its implementation in October last year, according to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Republic Act No. 11590, or the “Act Taxing Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations,” was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte into law in September 2021 and took effect on Oct. 9, 2021.
The law clarified the regulatory and taxation framework for POGOs and their employees.
“Despite the pandemic, from Oct. 9, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2021, the BIR has collected a total of P1.22 billion from offshore gaming licensees, their service providers and their employees,” the BIR said in a report.
Based on its computation, the BIR said it collected P709.39 million in withholding taxes between Oct. 9 and Dec. 31, while P409.93 million came from POGOs’ gaming revenues and P89.67 million from income taxes.
The bureau also raised P5.33 million in value added tax or percentage tax, P4.96 million in other taxes and P3.34 million in documentary stamp tax.
“As we already have rules and regulations in place for the POGO industry, we expect POGO operations to continue and we foresee an increase in revenues arising from said activities,” the BIR said.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III earlier said tax collections from POGOs were expected to hit P76.2 billion in 2022 to 2023.
Dominguez said that from the 5-percent tax on gross gaming revenues, the BIR would generate P35.1 billion during the two-year period, and P41.2 billion from the 25-percent withholding tax on the gross income of foreign employees.
POGOs are still in recovery mode after numerous gaming licensees and their service providers closed shop during the global health crisis. This was evident in the thousands of square meters of office space vacated by the POGO sector.
State-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. said strict quarantine measures, travel restrictions and confusing tax rules prior to the enactment of the POGO tax law triggered the mass exodus of gaming firms.