In a welcome development, five (5) integrated resorts (IRs) – Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc. (Resorts World Manila); Widus International Leisure, Inc. and Widus Philippines, Inc. (Widus Hotel and Casino); Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels, Inc. (Solaire Resort and Casino); Melco Resorts Leisure (PHP) Corporation (City of Dreams Manila); and Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. (Okada Manila) – have registered with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC). Also newly registered with the AMLC are two jewelers, Divine Jewels, Inc. and Family Jewels, Inc.,
The registration was in line with AMLC issuances, namely, the AMLC Registration and Reporting Guidelines for Casinos (ARRGC), and the Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorism Financing Guidelines for Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBP Guidelines). The ARRGC requires IRs and other casinos, including those owned/operated by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) are required to register with the AMLC within 90 days from 19 May 2018.
Under the DNFBP Guidelines, all existing DNFBPs must register with the AMLC within six months from 29 June 2018. Newly established DNFBPs must be AMLC-registered before commencement of operations.
Both the ARRGC and the DNFBP Guidelines are based on Republic Act (RA) No. 10365, which included jewelry dealers in precious stones and metals, as covered persons under RA No. 9160, or the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, as amended (AMLA). In addition, RA No. 10365 also includes as covered persons company service providers who deliver fund/securities management services for other persons, and persons and entities who, as a business, provide services to organize, create and manage companies and arrangements.
Although RA No. 10365 was enacted in 2013, the newly designated covered persons started registering with the AMLC only in 2018. The IRs and jewelers were among the very first to register since the enactment of RA No. 10365 and issuance of the ARRGC and DNFBP Guidelines.
Registration with the AMLC follows the policy guidelines of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international policy-making body that sets standards and promotes effective implementation of measures to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
Unlike casinos and IRs that are operated by, franchised, or regulated and supervised by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), or the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO), other DNFBPs have no supervising agency. In the absence of any regulatory authority over jewelers and company service providers, the AMLC oversees compliance by DNFBPs with anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism laws and regulations, as covered persons under the AMLA.
Prior to the issuance of the ARRGC and the DNFBP Guidelines, the AMLC also issued the ARRG and its amendments to provide the legal and policy framework for registration by covered persons, such as banks, money service businesses, insurance companies, and securities dealers, into the AMLC’s online system, and to ensure proper and timely compliance with reporting procedures.
Banks have routinely required DNFBPs and casinos to register first with the AMLC before opening an account.
Click the links below to view the ARRGC and the DNFBP Guidelines.