After numerous weeks of cessation of activities, the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has cleared the country’s international casino industry to start their operations again under a range of conditions.
The PAGCOR will reopen all its businesses to help in generating funds that the government inevitably requires to prop-up its struggle against the ravaging coronavirus. The offshore gambling operations have stayed shut since March 18 so that they could comply with the rigorous tax regulations while following strict safety measures for the employees amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, the government of the Philippines planned to sell PAGCOR to help raise money essential for curbing the disease and its destructive effects, but the idea has since been abandoned.
Before resuming any gambling activities, POGOs (Philippines Casinos) will have to clear any outstanding taxes which also include liabilities. The operators must also abide by the current regulatory structure of licenses fee payments. Additionally, PAGCOR has set a condition to all the already available casinos in the country to clear their any unsettled penalties and pending regulatory fees for April.
To prevent COVID-19 infection rates from going back up, PAGCOR also directed that all the POGOs will be running at a 30% reduced employee staff. The companies will also have to offer transport services for the employees to and from the casinos, to reduce the spread of infection. Besides, employees who will be showing COVID-19 symptoms will be laid off until total recovery.
Furthermore, PAGCOR also instructed that any vulnerable or high-risk individuals like pregnant women, old people, or those that have a weak immune system to stay at home. Andrea Domingo, Chairman and Executive of PAGCOR’s, came out strongly to indicate that their priority is their player’s and employee’s safety.
Andrea also went on to acknowledge how POGOs play a major part in mending Philippines economic infrastructure during these times of the COVID-19 pandemic. In her statement, she also outlined how the 2% Gross Gaming Revenue was paid back to the regulator as tax in the form of fees.