Pagcor Willing to Shut Down POGOs If Issues Not Resolved

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation said it is willing to close down Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators if issues on unpaid taxes, labor, and a spike in crimes are not resolved.

Pagcor Assistant Vice President Jose Tria, Jr., who heads the licensing of POGOs, said the gaming regulator is open to calls to shut down these businesses in the country.

Pagcor stopped accepting new applications for POGO licenses in August last year amid growing concerns about job losses, unpaid taxes, and even on national security. 

Separate Senate investigations also unearthed a spike in cases of prostitution and human trafficking as women are brought in to cater to POGO workers. A Senate panel has also unearthed the “pastillas” scheme, where Chinese nationals pay grease money to enter the Philippines with great ease.

Tria warned that closing down the 61 licensed POGO firms would mean lower revenues for the government.

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