President Rodrigo Duterte announced his plans to close all online gambling firms in the Philippines. He ordered the closure saying that the government is not getting proper taxes from such operations. This has been revealed while presenting a budget for 2017, without specifying the timing of the ban and in this way leaving the country worried about one of its booming industries.
“I am ordering the closure of all online gaming (firms). All of them. They have no use,“ Duterte said according to Inquirer.
In August Duterte cancelled one firm‘s 13-year monopoly on gambling in licensed cafes. He based it on disability to properly collect taxes from internet gambling as well as the risen youth participation in it.
“I was mad because even the youth are gambling and there was no way of collecting the proper taxes,” Duterte explained at the time.
“I will restore online (gambling) provided taxes are correctly collected, and they are situated or placed in districts where gambling is allowed, which means to say, not close to churches or schools,” he said.
The gaming industry in the Philippines has been attracting many foreign tourists as well as millions of dollars in investment up to date. It is estimated that the possible loss in annual revenues if the decision to shut down or not renew the licenses is taken is around $215 million.