Philippines Allows China-centric Online Casinos To Restart – Manila online casino vacates half office amid pandemic Manila online casino vacates half office amid pandemic
(Bloomberg) — A China-focused online casino has vacated half of its offices in the Philippine capital amid the pandemic as travel restrictions, taxes and volatile relations between the two countries have halted operations.
Philippines Allows China-centric Online Casinos To Restart
They occupied 677,000 square meters of Metro Manila office space in the fourth quarter of last year, up from 1.3 million square meters at the start of 2020, according to Colliers International. Their stake in Metro Manila office stocks fell from 11% to 5%.
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Some online gaming operators have left due to travel restrictions, new taxes and uncertainty over relations between the Philippines and China, when the Southeast Asian country is set to elect a new president in May, said Dom Frederic Andaya, senior director at Colliers in Manila. .
During the pandemic, the $8 billion industry and its thousands of migrant workers have driven up real estate prices in and around Metro Manila. Operators mainly employ Chinese people to answer inquiries and process payments from customers who bet on live baccarat and fountain games.
Andaya said 18.9% of Manila’s office space could be vacant this year, and further added nearly 1.5 million square meters of office space by 2023. The return of online casinos and increased demand from outsourcing companies could reduce vacancies, he said.
With the easing of travel restrictions, “it really depends on the Philippines-China relationship whether there is a level of tolerance that allows the industry to flourish,” he said.
Happy Chinese New Year, Segians!
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will not shut down online casinos targeting Chinese gamblers, even after the industry was linked to millions of dollars in suspicious fund flows, his spokesman said.
“He will not suspend or stop it,” Duterte spokesman Salvador Panelo told Inquirer Radio on Sunday when asked about the president’s decision on the fate of Philippine offshore gaming operators or POGO, which employs hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers.
Gaming agency officials briefed Duterte on the booming sector, which has also supported the real estate market, and plans to use funds generated from online casinos to support the government’s measures to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, Panelo said.
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In a Senate hearing last week, the money-laundering agency flagged as “suspicious” transactions involving POGOs worth about 14 billion pesos (US$276 million) from 2017 to October 2019 – some of which could be used for drug trafficking, fraud and violations. of the Law on Electronic Commerce.
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Manila Online Casinos Vacate Half Of Their Office In Pandemic
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