Online Gambling Ban Would Not Impact Philippines Economy: Central Bank Chief

Online Gambling Ban Would Not Impact Philippines Economy: Central Bank Chief

Online gambling ban in the Philippines would have little impact on the country’s economy, the country’s central bank chief said.

The Philippines has been under flak from China for allowing online offshore gambling. 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.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas 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.

“There are 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,” Mr. Diokno said on the sidelines of a business event in Singapore.
“We have already stopped giving licenses in the first place. Should they violate our tax laws, we will expel them,” Mr. Diokno said.

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,” she said.

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 comply with the Bureau of Immigration.

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