About 35% of the $2.33 billion ($43.6 million) revenue owed by online operators serving foreign customers to Philippine gaming regulators has been “finalised.”
That’s according to a Monday press release on the website of Philippine public spending watchdog Audit Commission last week by the regulator Philippine Entertainment and Games Company (Pagcor).
This does not mean that 815.9 million PHPs, described by Pagcor as “solved,” have actually moved to public funds. 파칭코
Pagcor explained that after Pagcor filed a claim, it would appear as the total amount that a particular Philippine Marine Game Operator (POGO) had been “in protest”.
“Pagcor’s intensive struggle against illegal online gambling and its excessive enthusiasm to maximize collection have led to the imposition of an estimated or estimated claim on a suspected undeclared website,” the regulator said in a statement on Monday.
Pagcor said, “After thorough re-verification, no connection has been established between the unsolicited website and the concerned POGO. In fact, undeclared sites were actually websites of illegal operators stealing live streams from our licensees,” he added
Regulators cited POGO’s business disruptions due to lockdowns, adding that “most” of the PHP, which is just over $1.51 billion, was “due to the recent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The data recalled that all POGO game operations in the country were ordered to close by the government as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the Philippines on March 21, 2020. “Most POGOs were no longer allowed to reopen … As a result, we have an uncollected bill.”
Regulators explained that under a bill passed in the Philippines to ease the burden on businesses during the pandemic, Pagkor would have had the option of “not charging a minimum monthly guarantee fee” for holders of declaration licenses who failed to resume operations.
A statement on Monday said a monthly minimum guarantee fee was still imposed on all POGOs in April and May 2020 “despite the obligation to close down” due to Pagco’s desire to generate public revenue for pandemic-related relief. Regulators continued to charge all POGOs with a minimum monthly guarantee fee “for the next few months” regardless of whether they could resume operations.
The audit committee’s report included accounts including receivables by the end of 2021.
According to an annual audit of Pagcor, the gaming regulator has not recovered PHP, which is just over $2.97 billion in PHP, as of the end of 2021. Of that tally, PHP $2.33 billion has been classified as uncollected for more than a year since maturity, up 57% from 2020.