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DOF shuts down 11 branches of largest POGO service provider

The Department of Finance, in coordination with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, on Wednesday shut down 11 branches of what is considered the biggest Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) in the country for non-registration and violation of tax laws.

The branches of New Oriental Club88 Corporation (NOCC) were located in various floors of four separate buildings in Parañaque City. Authorities simultaneously padlocked all branches.

The NOCC provides customer relations service and live studio streaming.



Its main office in Makati City is registered, but not the operations of its branches in Parañaque, according to BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa.Government data showed 6,700 Chinese nationals are employed by this POGO, the actual number could go up to 18,000, Guballa noted.

In the particular branch that was made accessible to the media, around 600 Chinese were said to be working.

More than 50 Filipinos are also employed as drivers, cooks, and housekeepers.

The BIR estimates that the tax deficiency of the POGO branches is worth “billions” of pesos.

The main office will have to settle the taxes before its branches can resume operations, Guballa said.

Last month, the Task Force POGO padlocked Altech Innovations for not registering and not filing value-added tax (VAT) returns.

On September 25, the head office and branches of Great Empire Gaming and Amusement Corp. at Subic Freeport in Olongapo, Eastwood in Quezon City, and Aseana City in Parañaque were also shut down.

Great Empire was later allowed to resume operations after it offered to settle its P1.3 billion tax liability. —VDS, GMA News