President Rodrigo Roa Duterte enacted into law a bill that put casinos under money laundering monitoring in a bid to curb illicit financial transactions.
Signed by the President on July 14, 2017, Republic Act (RA) No. 10927 amended RA 9160, also known as Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) of 2001. This, in effect, designated all casinos as “covered persons.”
It added casinos, including internet and ship-based casinos, with respect to their casino cash transactions related to their gaming operations, under the definition of “covered persons”.
Internet-based casinos are ran using remote communications facilities, such as internet, telephone, television, radio, or any other electronic devices. Ship-based casinos, on the other hand, are undertaken on board a vessel, boat, or any other water-based crafts.
With the new law, it expanded the definition of “covered transaction” which covered not only single cash transactions in excess of P500,000. It now also covers single casino cash transactions amounting to more than P5-million or its equivalent in other currencies.
The Court of Appeals (CA), the RA said, can issue a 20-day freeze order on any monetary instrument or property suspected to be related to an unlawful activity.
Within the 20 days, the CA will conduct a summary hearing to determine whether or not to modify, lift, or extend the period of the freeze order, wherein the total period of the freeze order shall not exceed six months.
The freeze order shall not affect an asset preservation order that the Regional Trial Court, having jurisdiction of the anti-money laundering case or civil forfeiture case, may issue on the same account.
The freeze order or asset preservation, the RA added, will be limited only to the amount of cash or monetary instrument or value of property allegedly involved in an unlawful activity.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and other government regulatory agencies will jointly promulgate an implementing rules and regulations (IRR) within 90 days from RA 10927 effectivity. (PCO-Content)