Chief of Philippines central bank said that online gambling ban in the Philippines would have little impact on the country’s economy, the country’s central bank chief said. Recently, China asked the Philippines to completely ban online gambling. However, the Philippines has completely rejected the call for a ban.
After a recent meeting with the Chinese premier Xi Jinping, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said that they would not be banning online gambling as it is crucial for the country’s economy.
Governor Benjamin E. Diokno, who has ordered a study on the economic impact of halting online gambling, told Reuters he would rather the operators exit the country.
Mr. Diokno said on the sidelines of a business event in Singapore:
“There’s some benefits, in terms of if they pay their taxes but there are also some risks. I tend to be risk averse. I’d rather they leave, if I have my way. We have already stopped giving licenses in the first place. Should they violate our tax laws, we will expel them.”
Recently, Philippine Senator Leila De Lima called for a ban on offshore online gambling urging President Rodrigo Duterte to accept the suggestion of Chinese president Xi Jinping.
“Mr. Duterte should heed these serious concerns that affect his people. He should order an immediate ban on online gambling in the country that causes more harm than good and stops looking at it from an economic or investment perspective.”
China recently advised Manila to outlaw the cross-border activities it says pose money laundering risks.
Online gambling companies, known in the Philippines as POGOs for Philippine offshore gambling operators, are a boon for the local economy, drawing many visitors from China who work in them, fueling property demand and retail spending.
Diokno said that the industry contributed only “a few billion” pesos in tax and had little impact on the real estate sector, while he said it presented “a risk of money laundering.”
The Philippine gaming regulator has stopped issuing licenses to online gambling firms. The lawmakers and some ministers have called for tighter controls on Chinese visitors, saying many are illegal workers whose presence raises security concerns.
According to the latest from the country’s Labor Department, there are about 14,000 foreign workers employed by the thriving offshore online gambling industry in the South-east Asian country.
Dominique Tutay, Director of the Bureau of Local Employment, said that during the first six months of 2019 there were 51,000 Alien Employment Permits issued to POGO workers. However, following the inspection of 177 POGO operators, it was found that there are about 8000 foreign workers serving illegally. Moreover, 6000 fail to fulfil with the Bureau of Immigration.