PAGCOR signs MOU with Philippines Anti-Money Laundering Council

The agreement will be based on collaboration and sharing of information related to AML initiatives

PAGCOR  has signed a MOU with the Philippines Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). The agreement aims to improve cooperation around money laundering and terrorism financing risks.

The memorandum of understanding was signed at an official ceremony this week and seeks to support institutions that may be vulnerable to laundering, such as casinos, as well as tackle risks posed by the growth of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry. The MoA will see the AMLC and PAGCOR collaborate in sharing information from various studies, research and information of emerging trends in money laundering and terrorism financing.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, AMLC Chairman Benjamin E. Diokno said: “The actionable information that we share with each other is important in supporting financial investigations. The latest National Risk Assessment notes a high sectoral money laundering threat among designated non-financial businesses and professions — including casinos which are highly vulnerable. This calls for strict enforcement of and compliance to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing policies – urging the full cooperation of covered persons (including casinos) during the conduct of examinations – especially with the rise of POGOs.

“With Internet-based casinos, casino junket operations, and reduced transparency of high-rollers, there is much vulnerability in identifying sources and movements of funds.

“Similar to banks and other financial institutions, casinos undertake high-volume and high-speed financial activities but in the gaming context. Being generally large cash-based businesses, casinos are competitive in its growth and susceptible to criminal activity,” Mr Diokno added.

Since 2017, casinos in the Philippines became “covered persons” by the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Act, which requires them to provide information to the AMLC  regarding any covered transactions. Gaming operators must report any single casino cash transaction that involves an amount of more than PHP5 million (US$98,000) or its equivalent in any other currency."

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