Bill seeking to include casinos in AMLA ready by Sept

The Anti-Money Laundering Council is working on a draft bill that will seek the inclusion of the casino sector in the coverage of AMLA

MANILA, Philippines – A draft bill that will seek the inclusion of casinos in the coverage of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) will be ready by September, Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) Executive Director Julia Abad said.

Abad said the council is working on the draft for endorsement to Congress as part of efforts to further strengthen monitoring of money laundering and terrorist financing activities.

“We are working on a draft of the bill that will include the casino sector in the AMLA because even if the financial task force has said that we have been sufficiently compliant with international standard, they are still after this,” Abad said.

Early this year, the Philippines averted being blacklisted by Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FTAF), a global group monitoring terrorist financing, with the passage of Republic Act 10365, which introduced amendments to AMLA.

RA 10365 expanded the list of predicate crimes or unlawful activities that could be used for money laundering, as well as the list of institutions that the law covers.

Casinos however were excluded from sectors required to report the presence of suspected money launderers on their premises.

“While the Philippines is no longer under the monitoring of FATF, we are still being monitored by the Asia Pacific group on money laundering as far as the inclusion of the casino sector is concerned,” she added.

Read: AMLA changes to avert launder blacklisting?

Real estate to be included, too

Abad said the proposed bill will also include real estate agents among those required to report to AMLC.

Under the existing law, real estate agents are excluded from reporting to the council as only the Land Registration Authority reports to the AMLC regarding transactions made by real estate brokers and agents that are worth P5 million and above.

“We are also for the inclusion of real estate agents. While we were working on the inclusion of the real estate agents before, we did not suceed due to opposition of some legislators. But in the 16th Congress, we will push for the inclusion of real estate agents,” Abad said. –

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