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House approves bill expanding coverage of Anti-Money Laundering Act

/ 07:58 PM May 30, 2017

A bill seeking to cover casino and junket operators under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (Republic Act 9160) has been approved on third and final reading in the House of Representatives.

The House approved House Bill 5663 during its session on Monday with 219 votes (nobody voting against or abstaining).

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The bill is title “An Act Designating Casinos as Covered Persons under Republic Act (RA) 9160, otherwise known as the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, as amended.”

The bill seeks to expand coverage of the law to include people operating or working in casinos, including internet and ship-based casinos, as well as chip-based junket operators with respect to their casino financial transactions related to their gaming operations.

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The Anti-Money Laundering Act created the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), which is chaired by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor, “”to freeze any monetary instrument or property alleged to be proceeds of any unlawful activity.” It is tasked with monitoring suspicious financial transactions involving dirty money.

The approved bill also said the threshold amount of covered transaction that would merit the filing of a suspicious transaction report with the AMLC is a single casino financial transaction involving an excess of P5 million or its equivalent in other currency.

The threshold may be adjusted by the AMLC “upon the recommendation of the congressional oversight committee created under Section 19” of the proposed law.

The current law puts the threshold amount at P500,000.

The approved bill seeks to insulate casinos from the nefarious activity of money laundering as well as terrorism, according to the committee report. /atm

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TAGS: Anti-Money Laundering Act, casino and junket operators
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