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Philippines Senator demands probe against about illegal workers in POGO establishments

Niji Narayan

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Philippines Senator inquires about illegal workers in POGO establishments
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Philippines Senator Leila M. de Lima has submitted a resolution that proposes an inquiry into the illegal workers at foreign gaming firms, especially in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) establishments.

“Given the huge discrepancy between the number of foreign POGO workers in the Philippines and tax revenue from them, there is a need to document all foreign workers to ensure the legality of their presence and identify their taxpayer classification to accurately determine their corresponding tax liability,” Ms. De Lima said in the resolution.

The senator cited that the government is losing P3 billion in tax revenue a month due to non-payment of personal income tax by foreign workers in the POGO sector.

According to the Department of Justice (DoJ), around 95,000 foreign nationals are working in POGOs with temporary work permits as of June 2018.

Senator Lima has called for the inquiry in the hopes of creating legislation “that would increase our capability to meet the increasing challenges in implementing our laws on resident foreign nationals.”

The senator warned that the lack of coordination among government agencies “could lead to serious issues, including those of criminality, national security, and possible abuse of our citizens by undocumented foreign nationals.”

Asia

Nagasaki Reconsolidates IR Bid Support from All Governors of Kyushu Island

Niji Narayan

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Nagasaki Reconsolidates IR Bid Support from All Governors of Kyushu Island
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Nagasaki has re-consolidated the IR bid support from all the regional governors of Kyushu Island.

The Kyushu Regional Strategy Conference, consisting of the seven governors of Kyushu region, as well as those of nearby Yamaguchi prefecture and Okinawa prefecture, plus the leaders of regional economic organisations, released an official message supporting Nagasaki’s IR bid.

Under the principle of “Kyushu is One,” potential IR operators were advised that they were expected to offer, and could be expected to receive, support for tourism development in the entire region.

While Nagasaki had gained early support from such regional associations, the regional unity behind its bid was briefly threatened by the prospect that either Fukuoka city or Kitakyushu city might join the IR race.

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Study Confirms High Rollers Gambled in Macau Despite COVID-19

Niji Narayan

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Study Confirms High Rollers Gambled in Macau Despite COVID-19
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A new study released by the Macau Research Centre has found that 60% of those who visited Macau during the COVID-19 pandemic did so for gambling, with each willing to spend around MOP$87,000 on average.

The research centre surveyed 103 visitors between March and May, of which 93.2% were from mainland China. With the threat of a 14-day quarantine upon leaving Macau, research showed those mainlanders chose to stay longer, with an average stay of 6.7 days. Around 59% stayed for more than five days.

The study also found that 59% of those surveyed visited Macau for gaming, while 87% had conducted gaming activities. Their gaming budget ranged from MOP$1,000 to MOP$500,000, with an average of MOP$87,000.

“Compared to the mass market, the spending decisions of this group of high-end customers may be less influenced by macroeconomic and social sentiment,” the study said.

Moreover, the visitors spent another MOP$45,549 during their visits on average, mostly on dining, shopping and hospitality.

The study also found the arrivals had visited Macau an average of 5.8 times in the last 12 months, while 83% of them had visited Macau at least three times in the last 12 months.

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Macau Gambling King Stanley Ho Dies at 98

Niji Narayan

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Macau Gambling King Stanley Ho Dies at 98
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Macau casino king Stanley Ho has died on Tuesday (May 26) at the age of 98. He was known as the godfather of Macau casinos and was instrumental in turning Macau into a gambling boomtown.

The flamboyant tycoon, who loved to dance but advised his nearest and dearest to shun gambling, headed one of the world’s most lucrative gaming businesses through his flagship firm, SJM Holdings Ltd, valued at about US$6 billion.

Ho spearheaded what is known in Macau as the junket VIP system, whereby middlemen act on behalf of casinos by extending credit to gamblers and taking responsibility for collecting debts.

Some of Ho’s children have become successful gaming operators in their own right. Daughter Pansy is the co-chairperson of MGM Resorts’ Macau unit while son Lawrence runs Melco Resorts & Entertainment.

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