The Philippine gaming regulator has argued in favour of a bill being assessed by the country’s Senate which aims to introduce cuts to taxation on player casino winnings. In a public hearing on the tax measure, a representative from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) argued such kind of taxation should not exist, in order to boost the regional competitiveness of the Philippine land-based casino industry.
“Our nearest competitors in Asia – Singapore and Macau – in terms of casino winnings, do not impose any tax,” said Arnold Salvosa, Pagcor’s corporate services department assistant vice president, as quoted by media outlet ABS-CBN News.
“They treat casino winnings as windfall and not as income,” he added.
The Pagcor representative was speaking during a public hearing by the Philippines’ Senate Committee on Ways and Means, regarding the proposed Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA). The bill aims to reduce the tax rate on passive income to 15 percent from 20 percent. According to the ABS-CBN News report, the goal of the tax reduction is to increase compliance.
The Philippines requires a 20-percent withholding tax for casino winnings exceeding PHP10,000 (US$177.65), according to a research document by the Philippine National Tax Research Center, affiliated with the country’s Department of Finance. Winnings below PHP10,000 are subject to the regular individual income tax.
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