Philippines ahead of schedule to deliver new casino regulatory framework

  • The framework is set to be issued between October 10 to 14
  • It will require all casinos to carry out ‘Know your Customer’ procedures

The Philippines Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) is reported to be ahead of schedule on issuing its latest casino regulatory framework.

The Philippines Anti Money Laundering
The Philippines Anti Money Laundering Council is to issue a new casino regulatory framework

The AMLC had ninety days to issue the new framework after the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA) was taken into effect on July 29.

Implementing rules and regulations

The Anti-Money Laundering Council reportedly had an official order by Philippine law to come up with a set of Implementing Rules and Regulations (commonly known as IRR), and AMLC executive director Attorney Mel Georgie Racela has said that “Based on our time line, we might be able to issue one week before the deadline.”

An expected issue date of between October 10 to 14 is the likeliest scenario, subject to board approval. The original deadline for the new framework was not until October 27.

What will be in the IRR?

The regulatory framework will require casinos to carry out ‘Know your Customer’ procedures whilst also ensuring that casinos are carrying out the correct due diligence procedures.

Cash transactions of more PHP5 million will also have to reported by casinos, along with suspicious movements of money.

However, these guidelines may take time to come into effect, with Director Attorney Racela explaining that between now and March next year a number of follow-up guidelines will be published as detailed parts of the IRR require a longer time period to define.

It is hoped the new framework will provide Philippine casinos, as well as online gaming sites and even casinos on cruise ships the correct guidelines on how suspicious persons and transactions should be treated, whilst also providing clarity on what gambling venues should do to ensure that their premises are not used for money laundering activities.

Crackdown on Philippine money laundering

The gambling industry in the Philippines was thrust under the spotlight in 2016 when the Central Bank of Bangladesh was subject to a large heist in which $81 million was taken.

It was then reported that a majority of the stolen money was allegedly shipped into Philippine bank accounts only for the money to disappear in a host of casinos.

The new framework is designed to prevent this kind of activity from occurring again with no doubt a strict set of penalties if any of the procedures are not carried out to full effect.

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