Republic Act No. 10927 – Amendment To Philippines Anti Money Laundering Law

The Philippine Anti-Money Laundering Council implemented the Republic Act No. 10927 on November 4th, 2017. Republic Act No. 10927 is a Philippine gambling law that plugs holes left by previous legislation and enforces heavy regulations on all gambling operators. Online, shipboard, land-based, and junket operators located in the Philippines are considered “covered persons” under this act and are required to adhere to all regulations detailed.

While gambling is not illegal in the Philippines to outside players, as it is a renowned gambling destination for tourists, it is illegal for Filipino citizens to gamble online at domestic gambling sites operating within their country on Philippine servers. However, Filipino players may legally enjoy online gambling through offshore servers and online operators.  The regulations outlined in this law do not apply to licensed offshore gambling business operators or their customers.

The Philippine Anti-Money Laundering Council’s New Regulations

The AMLC’s role in gambling regulations and the recent enactment of RA No. 10927 coincide with the Philippines recent issues on international money laundering. The AMLC became devoted to fixing issues in their gaming industry after last year’s infamous Bangladeshi Bank Heist, were $81 million US dollars were funneled through the industry. Many outside agencies like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering warned the Philippines to act or face international scrutiny and sanctions. As a result, the AMLC alongside Philippine gaming enforcement and authority agencies collaborated to invoke strict anti-money laundering rules and regulations which were drawn into recent legislation under the Republic Act No. 10927.

The 23-page act entails specific requirements that all “casinos” – in this literature “casinos” classify as online, shipboard, land, and junket operators – must follow in order to comply with the AMLC. Failing to follow these rules and regulations will result in severe penalties, fines, and agency judicial processing.

Does Republic Act No. 10927 Impact Legal Online Gambling At Offshore Gambling Sites?

The regulations presented in this act do not impact Filipino access to legally sanctioned online gambling sites that are based offshore.  As long as an online gambling site is based outside of Philippine borders and is legitimately licensed and regulated, they will not find themselves required to comply with the regulations set forth in the Republic Act No. 10927.  There are no restrictions in this Philippine gambling law that prohibit Filipino players from enjoying online casino gambling entertainment at offshore destinations that are operating legally within the industry. For more information about the legal status of online gambling in the Philippines, visit our page covering Philippines gambling laws.

Summary Of The New Requirements

For Gambling Business Owners:

Casino owners are faced with the majority of changes in the AMLC’s new legislation as the new rules require all casinos to develop sound risk management policies and practices to identify, monitor, mitigate, and control risks associated with money laundering and terrorist financing. This means casinos are required to implement risk management policies in order to curve illegal practices in casinos by patrons and staff members. Casino business owners must now become more involved in the oversight of their own management, execute internal checks, and engage in periodic audits. Casino owners must also maintain records of their players for at least 5 years.

Casino owners are ordered to allow compliance checks, and investigations by the AMLC if they suspect money laundering or terrorism financing, or face severe penalties, fees, and judicial processing. Review our Philippine legal online casinos guide for further information about online casinos.

For Gamblers:

Players should be excited about these new changes as this will mean Philippine casinos will become a safer place to gamble and enjoy. There are only two rules included in RA No. 10927 that effect players, these rules require gamblers to present casinos with their true identity – no more alias. While this may unnerve some gamblers, this rule was set in place to ensure the safety of all the casinos patrons. Casinos shall establish and record the true identity of their customers based on identification documents presented upon opening an account and redemption of casino chips or tokens.

This regulation requires gambling business owners to record a variety of information about each of its patrons. Gamblers must present their name, date and place of birth, present and permanent address, contact information, nationality, nature of work, and source of funds in order to play and even redeem winnings.

Gamblers should also be aware of the second rule effecting players – reporting of suspicious transactions. The AMLC requires casinos to report transactions over $100,000 US dollars or other currency equivalent within 5 working days for review. This means players should keep their bets and transactions well under $100,000 if they do not want to be flagged by this rule and reported to the authorities. That being said if players have nothing to hide, a review of transactions made over this amount should be cleared by the AMLC with no effect to the player’s gambling experience.

Outcome

We believe that these measures put in place by the Philippine Anti-Money Laundering Council will help boost their gambling industry by enabling a safer environment for their destination tourists and gamblers. These new regulations are also widely accepted and praised by Philippine gaming authorities and casinos and are considered the best way to combat illegal practices and money laundering.

Disclaimer

To further understand the specific details of these regulations, the in-depth 23-page Casino Implementation Rules and Regulations is freely available on the AMLC government webpage to access and read. If you operate a casino in Philippines and for any reason feel you are unsure of whether you can comply or have further questions on this legislation, we ask that you speak with a legal attorney.

Additional Information

Philippines Anti-Money Laundering Council AMLC

Republic Of The Philippines Official Legislation:  Republic Act No. 10927