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Philippines: New AML requirements for ca...

Philippines: New AML requirements for casinos and online gaming operators

Published on May 26, 2017

Philippine casinos and online gaming operators will face new AML (Anti-Money Laundering) rules as the legislators try to limit the industry’s freewheeling reputation.

The Philippine Senate is about to approve amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) after a pressure by Senator Chiz Escudero who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies.

On Wednesday, the Senate approved the second reading of SB 1468, which will bring casino operators under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) for the first time. The third and final reading will be on next week, in order to comply with a deadline imposed by the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG).

As Escudero said on Thursday, the Senate should pass Senate Bill No. 1468 before the June 2017 deadline given by the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG). “Failure to enact the required legislation within the given time frame would put the Philippines under monitoring of the International Review Group of the FATF, which could eventually result in the possible blacklisting of the Philippines,” Escudero said.

Casinos would report to the Anti-Money Laundering Council if the accumulated bets within a 24-hour period reached P3 million ($60,000), as per the proposed amendment.

Last year’s cyber-theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh Bank account in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is the reason of reviewing the Law. The stolen money was diverted to four fake bank accounts in the Philippines. To date, only a small amount of that money has been recovered. US security officials have suggested that North Korea was behind it.