AMLA moves closer casino inclusion

The Philippines House of Representatives has moved closer to including casinos as part of its Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), Philstar reports.

On Monday, Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, who chairs the committee on banks and financial intermediaries said his panel has “agreed in principle to endorse the inclusion of casinos in the law.”

“We have tasked a small group to consolidate three related bills. The only issue that remains to be resolved has to do with the threshold amount that would trigger the filing of a suspicious transaction report with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC),” he said.

One proposal is to set the amount at P500,000 (US$10,000), the same level required for banks and insurance companies. Another is to set the threshold at P5 million, he said.

Calls to include the country’s casinos in the AML Act came after it was revealed proponents of the local casino industry was involved in the laundering of $81 million in stolen funds from the Bangladesh Central Bank early last year.

Around $15 million has been returned to Bangladesh so far, but the AMLC is still trying to recover the remaining stolen funds.