The Financial Action Task Force is considering blacklisting the Philippines if the government does not include casinos within the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Known as the AMLA, the Anti-Money Laundering Council has sent out a warning that if the Philippines fails to do so they could face being placed on the blacklist.
The Anti-Money Laundering Council Executive Director, Julia Abad-Bacay, was the individual who issued the warning, just after taking part in a budget hearing within the Senate committee on finance this past Monday. Bacay stated in the hearing that the law needed to be amended with legislation that would see AMLA coverage extended to casinos as this was considered a high-level mission by the Asia-Pacific Group on Monday Laundering.
Bacay further stated that the FATF may visit the country later on this year to make sure efforts are being made within the casino industry that included the AMLA. Speaking to the committee, Bacay stated that they want to be sure a law will be passed by next year within the Philippine Congress. It was also stated by Bacay that adding the casino industry in the coverage of AMLA would be a major item that is looked into during a mutual evaluation.
Once the hearing was over, the official of the AMLC was asked as to what would happen if the Philippines did not move forward with the coverage. She stated that the inclusion of casinos is a major concern and the country might be placed on the black list of the FATF. She further stressed that Congress needs to amend the law by 2017 to avoid being placed on the black list by the FATF.