Felons will have a more difficult time laundering dirty cash in Philippine casinos after the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) issued fresh rules for the brick-and-mortar facilities.
The 23-page implementing rules and regulations that the AMLC drafted with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, and the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport has laid out the do’s and don’ts for casino operators.
In a nutshell, the new IRR requires casinos to put in place “sound risk management policies” to stem the flow of illicitly obtained cash.
This includes requiring all players to present valid identification cards before opening an account or redeeming casino chips into cash.
According to AMLC, casino should at least secure the customer’s name; date and place of birth; present address; permanent address; contact number or information; nationality; proof of identification and identification number; nature of work, name of employer, or nature of self-employment/business; and source of funds.
“Where an account is opened or a casino transaction is conducted by any person in behalf of another, the casinos shall establish and record the true and full identity and existence of both the account holder or transactor and the beneficial owner or person on whose behalf the casino transaction is being conducted,” the IRR read.
The AMLC prohibits casinos from engaging in any cash conversion without being used in gaming. Casinos are also not allowed to receive cash if its origin cannot be ascertained within a week.
“Casinos shall report to the AMLC all covered transactions and suspicious transactions within five (5) working days, unless the AMLC prescribes a different period not exceeding fifteen (15) working days, from the occurrence thereof,” according to AMLC. “Should a casino transaction be determined to be both a covered transaction and a suspicious transaction, it shall be reported as a suspicious transaction.”
The southeast island nation has dodged further scrutiny – and possible sanctions – from the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 10927 in July.
The law includes gambling operators – land-based, online and shipboard – as well as junket operators as ‘covered persons’ under the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA).
Under the amended AMLA, gaming operators must now report any single casino cash transaction that involves an amount of more than PHP5 million (US$100,000) or its equivalent in any other currency.