Despite being excluded from the amended Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation isn’t sitting on its laurels and opening itself up to dubious transactions from its players. To their credit, they’re taking the voluntary measure of crafting their own set of rules to monitor any potential transactions that could potentially be classified as ‘suspicious’ under the new framework of the amended AMLA.
Francis Hernando, the agency’s VP for gaming and licensing development, told Senate reporters that Pagcor is in the process of crafting these rules with the intention of imposing its regulatory powers and provide a measure of security and safety for the agency and the its players that will be on par with international standards.
“There will be a set of rules,” Hernando said. “Our casino regulations and part of those casino regulations will touch on monitoring transactions that may be deemed to be say suspicious under the AMLA.”
It’s a smart move considering the scrutiny the amended AMLA could face after the exclusion of casinos and Internet gaming on the amended Anti-Money Laundering Act that Philippine president Benigno Aquino III signed earlier this week. With Pagcor flexing its regulatory powers and taking the initiative in policing any suspicious activities occurring under its watch, it sends a direct message to the international community and that the Philippines is ready, willing, and able to set safe and secure measures to ensure that any questionable transactions would be looked into and dealt with in the proper course of action.
This isn’t some sort of power trip from Pagcor, either. They’re taking this very seriously as part of their goal to become a premier gambling destination in the Asian region. “I think if we want to be international class and recognized worldwide, we have to police ourselves properly,” Hernando stressed. “We’d like to hopefully be recognized as a serious jurisdiction internationally. The way Macau and Singapore and Las Vegas, New Jersey, Australia do it, there is a formal set of rules that is applied to everybody for a level playing field.”
As it stands now, Pagcor has finished crafting the first draft of these new rules with an eye towards implementing it later this year, possibly by September.