Tuesday, July 12, 2016 : NEW BLOW FOR PAGCOR
Government audit commission claims government owed PHP15.4 billion (US$325.5 million) by regulator.
PAGCOR, the Philippines gaming regulator already reeling from a moratorium on its power to issue licensing has now been hit with a government claim for PHP15.4 billion (US$325.5 million) as a result of under-remittances from 2011 to 2015.
The Commission on Audit annual report notes that PAGCOR should have remitted PHP 98.5 billion in total to the Bureau of Treasury, but only remitted P72.599 billion. Apparently the PAGCOR miscalculation was due to its incorrect interpretation of the law.
Responding, PAGCOR management maintains that it remitted the correct amount, but the Commission remains adamant that its calculations are correct.
“We stand firm with our stance that aggregate gross earnings pertained to the totality of the income from gaming revenues and income from other related services,” the audit authority said in a statement.
In related news, online gambling company PhilWeb has been given temporary breathing space on its recently expired licensing from PAGCOR, which has agreed a month-by-month renewal while it sorts out its own problems following the condemnation of internet gambling by the recently sworn in Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte.
InfoPowa readers will recall that the presidents antipathy to online gambling has resulted in a moratorium on new PAGCOR licensing.
PhilWeb shares continued to decline Monday, dropping another 13.6 percent following its request on July 4 for a three day suspension in trading (see previous InfoPowa reports).
In a statement to the Philippines stock exchange PhilWeb revealed that its licence had been extended until August 10. Along with the filing was a letter from the new PAGCOR chairperson, Andrea Domingo, stating the licence would only be issued for the month until President Rodrigo Duterte’s “directive regarding online gambling can be clarified.”