AML laws seen lacking teeth

Casino operators in the Philippines have been attending workshops on how to comply with the country’s new anti-money laundering regulations, though some industry experts say the rules are still are not strong enough. On July 14, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the amended Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) of 2001 to include casinos under the definition of “covered persons” when it comes to AML. This includes land-based, ship-board and online operations. Philippine regulators — the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR), the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority and the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport — drafted a 23-page document that lists the new systems that casino operators needed to put in place to ensure illicitly obtained cash is not laundered through the institutes. The rules came into force in Jan. The changes follow the audacious 2016 heist that saw $2 billion stolen from Bangladesh’s central bank. From that amount $81 million found its...

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