The World Bank wants a stricter regulation for Philippine casinos

"Loopholes must be closed," said Rogier van den Brink, World Bank lead economist.

All casinos in the Philippines must be covered by anti-money laundering legislation, said the World Bank.

The Philippines.- Today (Monday) the World Bank said The Philippines must make sure casinos are covered by anti-money laundering legislation.

The Asian country is currently in the eye of the storm, after the stolen funds from the Bangladeshi central bank ended up in Manila. A Philippine panel is conducting a probe to clarify how US$81 million hacked in February from the New York Federal Reserve account of Bangladesh’s central bank wound up with two casinos and a junket operator in the Philippines in one of the biggest cyber heists in history. So far, part of the funds has been recovered by the government.

World Bank lead economist Rogier van den Brink declared in Manila:”Reforms should be made, for instance, in making sure that casinos are included (in the anti-money laundering law).” The enactment of the anti-money laundering law in 2001 was a good start, added van den Brink, but the Philippines ought to “keep reforming it so that you are sure these untoward effects will not materialise.”

Furthermore, Karl Kendrick Chua, World Bank senior country economist reiterated the bank’s recommendation to ease the Philippines’ bank secrecy laws as a way to combat money laundering and identify tax evaders.

In February 2013, the Philippines was up against a deadline to amend its Anti-Money Laundering Act and get itself off the “grey list” of a global watchdog. However, legislators were arguing over whether to include casinos under the legislation or not and ultimately decided against gambling facilities being covered by anti-money laundering laws.