Standard application and processing fees for registered POGOs being studied

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THE amount charged for the application and processing fees of registered POGOs (Philippine Overseas Gaming Operators) is now being studied to make it more standardized.

The Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) of the Department of Finance (DOF) is planning to regulate the charging of fees by Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) from registered POGOs.

It was said that the fees charged from POGOs in terms of application and processing fees vary when applying for a master license so they could operate interactive gaming and land-based casinos.

It was learned that registered POGOs are forced to pay US$200,000 for the application and processing fee and US$500,000 to secure a master license.

For the application, processing and renewal of e-casino and sports betting, the fees charged by IPAs also vary, from US$10,000 to up to US$25,000.

For the service providers of POGOs, including those that offer Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Information Technology (IT) support services, they are charged from US$10,000 up to US$50,000.

According to DOF Assistant Secretary and FIRB Secretariat Head Juvy Danofrata, it is clear that there is no uniformity in fees charged by the IPA from registered POGO companies even if the projects they are involved in are the same.

Because of this, he said DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez III tasked them to study how to charge uniform fees so as to avoid the charging of fees being too complicated.

Based on records, 32 POGO licensees and their service providers are registered with the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), three servicer providers are under the authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), five under the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and one service provider under the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

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