IMF: Philippine casinos present “medium risk” to AML

The FATF grey-listed the Philippines last June.
The FATF grey-listed the Philippines last June.

The IMF report looks at risks to Philippine banks, non-financial corporations and the microfinance sector.

The Philippines.- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has issued a report that classes the Philippine casino industry as one of the economic activities that pose a “moderate” risk to the country’s international reputation in terms of anti-money laundering (AML) work and combatting the financing of terrorism (CFT).

The IMF report looks at risks to Philippine banks, non-financial corporations and the microfinance sector. It states that the “moderate” reputational risk posed by the casino sector to the country’s financial stability and AML/CFT framework is related to significant financial crime and limited action to amend bank secrecy laws.

Last February, President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law to strengthen anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations. However, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided to keep the Philippines on its grey list of untrustworthy jurisdictions.

Countries on the grey list are required to submit progress reports to FATF three times a year. The Philippines has been on the grey list before from 2000 until 2005. The FATF acknowledged that the Philippines had “taken steps to improve its AML/CFT regime” since last June but listed eight areas where more work needed to be done.

The IMF stated: “International confidence could diminish from insufficient supervision and monitoring of casinos, the gaming industry, and cryptocurrency exchanges, which could be abused for financial crimes.”

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