By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda has formalized his proposal to impose a five percent “franchise tax” in the annual gross income of offshore gaming hubs running under the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO).
Salceda on Wednesday filed House Bill No. 5267 which seeks to make those gaming hubs under the POGO system register as “resident corporations,” which will be the basis for their taxability.
According to Salceda, offshore gaming hubs under POGO “will be a potent revenue source, as well as means of placing these facilities under stricter oversight.”
Salceda, chairman of the powerful ways and panel in the Lower House, said the 52-registered POGO hubs in the country should be taxed as licensees of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), recognizing the agency’s authority as the “government-owned gaming monopoly.”
“This bill also intends to clarify the taxability of POGO employees,” Salceda said.
Salceda stressed that as since POGO hubs are conducting business in the country, “their employees’ income shall be subject to tax.”
Aside from imposing franchise tax, Salceda said he is also planning to impose a $10,000 monthly gaming tax per table “for live setup casino” in those offshore gaming hubs operating under the POGO system.
For POGO operators with more than 100 random number generator-based (RNG) games, Salceda has proposed a $5,000 monthly gaming tax per game for the first registered 100 games and another $3,000 monthly in those “excess of the first 100 games.”
Meanwhile, Salceda also wanted to impose a two percent gaming tax in gross gaming revenue of 28-registered interactive game operators.