by Glory Grace J. Arugay
In less than 10 years, the Philippines witnessed a booming growth in gaming establishments a booming growth in gaming establishments all over the metropolis. The wave of gaming establishments promised not only a considerable contribution to the country's economy and employment opportunities, but also a profitable return for investors. But while considered a flourishing investment, the gaming industry was not spared from controversies. Several cases involving gaming regulator, the Philippine Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) and its contractees and licensees, have been filed, wherein the entities encountered quite a "taxing" dilemma, literally and figuratively.
One of the more recent controversies was resolved in Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels, Inc. vs. Bureau of Internal Revenue (Aug. 10, 2016, G.R. No. 212530), where an integrated casino and hotel operator was faced with issues stemming from Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) 33-2013. The Supreme Court Third Division, through Associate Justice Jose Perez, ruled that Pagcor is not subject to corporate income tax on all income derived from its gaming operations. Earnings from other "related services" are, howerver, subject to tax. In principle, this also benefits all Pagcor contractees and licensees.