On 14 July 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Republic Act (“RA”) No. 10927, which amended the Philippine Anti-Money Laundering Act (“AMLA”), to expand the coverage of the law to include casinos.
Casinos are now defined as “businesses authorised by the appropriate government agent to engage in gaming operations.” This includes internet and ship-based casinos, as well as chip-based junket operators, with respect to their casino and gaming operations.
In addition, the amended AMLA now requires single casino cash transactions in excess of PHP5 million (or its equivalent in any currency) to be reported as a covered transaction, in addition to the current covered transaction threshold of PHP500,000 in one banking day.
Moreover, if probable cause for a casino’s involvement in unlawful activity is determined, a freeze order may be issued by the Philippine Court of Appeals. Such freeze order would be effective immediately and would last for a period of 20 days, extendable up to 6 months.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council, whose chairman is also the Philippine Central Bank governor, is tasked to coordinate with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Company which regulates casino operations, and other regulators to issue implementing rules and regulations of the amendment within 90 days from the effective date of the AMLA amendment which is 30 July 2017.
This alert is for general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.