PAGCOR defends casinos after money-laundering controversy

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Pagcor’s own casinos operated about a third of all table games in the Philippines’ market.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation said casinos are not the easiest venue for criminals to launder funds.

The Philippines.- Cristino Naguiat Jr., head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation PAGCOR, told reporters that casinos are not the easiest venue for criminals to launder funds.

Last week, Kim Wong, the junket operator involved in the probe, returned over US$4 million from the stolen funds via his lawyer. Naguiat argues that this fact proves that the money is traceable and cannot be included in money laundering scandals.

Naguiat also pointed out that the casino was the only entity that could yield the money and pinpoint people involved because it has the ability to monitor every aspect. Other parties involved, such as financial institutions, are under the bank secrecy laws and the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Naguiat affirms Pagcor management encouraged Wong to return the funds voluntarily to the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

Furthermore, casinos and Pagcor are working together to protect the casino gaming industry, added Naguiat. The junket operators and casino owners are open to show their books as they have to protect their business just as Pagcor needs to protect the gaming industry as a whole.