In the Philippines, there is a total of PHP 14 billion in online casino funds which are currently flagged by the Anti-money laundering council (AMLC) suspected as part of a sophisticated web of money laundering schemes.
The AMLC reported transactions recorded between 2013 to 2019 which tally over 1,031 different transactions that carry questionable details. These are referred to as Suspicious transactions reports (STR) and they were gathered during the seven years of monitoring. The dubious transactions reached their peak in 2016 with 332 flagged. Most of the items saw no underlying legal or trade obligation.
The investigation included the following entities:
- Philippine offshore gambling operators (POGOs).
- Gaming laboratories (G.L.).
- Interactive gaming licenses (IGLs).
- Interactive gaming support service providers (IGSSPs).
- Service providers (S.P.’s).
- Service providers produced the most STRs, with over 957 reports.
Anti-money Laundering Council’s role
When the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) of 2001 or RA 9160 was established, it stated that criminalizes unlawful activities such as graft and corrupt practices, fraudulent practices, robbery and extortion, swindling and plunder, amongst other activities. Out of this law, the Anti-money Laundering Council was created to protect the integrity of banking accounts and to ensure that the Philippines is not used as a money laundering location for the proceeds of unlawful activity.
The capacity and duty of the AMLC oversee monetary transactions in the Philippines and fight money laundering and other unlawful activity by investigating transactions and freezing accounts they deem suspicious. Once a scheme is uncovered, they can seize funds and seek prosecution from the judicial system of the Philippines.
Is Money Laundering seen in Philippine Legal Online Casinos?
Facing the facts, any industry that involves transactions that involve taxes is not immune to the possibility that it can be tapped into as a route for money laundering. This is why AMLC is dutifully reporting on the data that they have gathered about online casino gaming transactions which hold questionable characteristics.
AMLC assures that the legal online casinos which are regulated, authorized and monitored by PAGCOR and other legal entities involved in the field of gambling have taken precautions as well as processes to prevent and deter money laundering activities to affect their business. Just in case they get compromised, AMLC will step in and uncover the illegal money laundering schemes as well as take appropriate legal actions against the suspected parties involved in the violation.
At best, online casino operators work closely and transparently with AMLC and PAGCOR if they also suspect transactions are dubious and do meet the criteria of illegal activity. It is best to make sure that the online casino site is duly authorized and regulated before continuing to play.
Is it still safe to play on Legal Online Casinos In The Philippines?
It is a resounding, “Yes.”, AMLC, PAGCOR and other legal entities are working hand in hand with legitimate online casino operators to make sure that their sites are safe and secure. Checking our pages here for reviews, tips and feedback on existing online casino operators will be a great way to avoid any suspicious sites.
AMLC is there to make sure we’re worry-free when enjoying the thrill of casino games. It’s great news they were able to continuously monitor and study how the money laundering activities are trending. Be assured, dear reader, that we are also making things easier for you. Just explore our pages and you’ll be able to see articles on which online casino sites or online casino apps are safe, secure and duly licensed.
There are also global entities that will make sure that legitimate online casino operators are not affected by such questionable activities. A quick way to check if an online casino site is legitimate and licensed is to scroll down to the bottom of their page and the various logos of gambling jurisdictions, government agencies and organizations are seen prominently.
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