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Philippines Will Deport 40,000 Chinese Workers And Shut Down 175 Offshore Gambling Establishments

Philippines Will Deport 40,000 Chinese Workers And Shut Down 175 Offshore Gambling Establishments
As part of a campaign against the notoriously murky online gaming market, the Philippines will shut down 175 offshore gambling companies and deport about 40,000 Chinese employees, a justice ministry official announced on Monday.
In 2016, the Philippines saw the emergence of a new industry that took off quickly as businesses targeted customers in China, where gambling is illegal, by taking advantage of the country's lax gaming laws.
Over 300,000 Chinese workers were employed by Philippine offshore gambling operators, or POGOs, at their height, but the pandemic and higher taxes have forced many of them to relocate.
"The crackdown was triggered by reports of murder, kidnapping and other crimes committed by Chinese nationals against fellow Chinese nationals," justice ministry spokesperson Jose Dominic Clavano said.
According to Clavano, the licenses of the POGOs targeted for closure were either expired or had been revoked due to infractions like failure to pay government fees. He also stated that the deportation of the Chinese workers would begin the following month.
According to the finance ministry, POGO fees alone brought in 3.9 billion pesos ($3.9 billion) last year and 7.2 billion pesos ($122.21 million) in 2020. Taxes, employee spending, and office rent are all expected to cost much more, according to economists.
In a statement, the Chinese embassy in Manila said Beijing supported the deportation of offenders involved in POGO crimes and stepped up its efforts to combat gambling.
\An inquiry was not immediately answered by the Philippines regulator, which recently stated that there were 30 licensed POGO firms as opposed to 60 before the pandemic.
A complete exit from the POGO sector, according to real estate consultancy Leechiu Property Consultants, would leave vacant 1.05 million square meters (259 acres) of office space, which is a third of Central Park in New York, as well as 8.9 billion pesos ($151 million) in lost annual rent.
According to Leechiu's data, which estimates POGOs deliver 190 billion pesos ($3.22 billion) to the economy each year, a boon to the property and retail sectors, the sector employs 111,000 Filipinos and 201,000 Chinese.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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