BIR catches errant online casino on second try

BIR POGO - BIR catches errant online casino on second tryTHE Bureau of Internal Revenue closed down an online casino Synchronization Anywhere For You Inc. operating at Eastfield Center, Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City. COURTESY OF BIR

PHILIPPINE authorities trooped to an office building in the capital to shut an online casino for tax evasion, only to be surprised to find the company wasn’t there.

“This is the difficulty because their offices are virtual,” Internal Revenue Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa told reporters in Manila on Friday morning after a planned raid was called off.

Based on the address from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., the company was supposed to be based in Pasay City but couldn’t be found. On Friday afternoon, the tax bureau in a statement said it was finally able to close down Synchronization Anywhere For You Inc. but didn’t provide details as to how they were able to track down the company.

Offshore gaming operators have multiplied in the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte’s government began awarding licenses in 2016, contributing an estimated 6.4 billion pesos of taxes last year. The lack of coordination among government agencies is hampering tax collection, with the finance department last year ordering measures to step up oversight. — Bloomberg

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