The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says casinos in the Philippines are still susceptible to money laundering.
In the IMF’s Financial System Stability Assessment of the country, the international financial institution states that the Philippines government and its gaming industry must do more to discourage money laundering inside its casinos. Moreover, the IMF report found that the casino transactions are “insufficiently supervision and monitored.”
The IMF, founded in 1945 and is headquartered in Washington, DC, has 190 member countries. The IMF has many missions, including promoting high employment, sustainable economic growth, facilitating international trade, and several others.
IMF Supports Regulatory Overhaul
The IMF called out PAGCOR, the Philippine Amusement, and Gaming Corporation, which controls commercial casinos and operates its state-owned gaming properties. The IMF says PAGCOR needs to improve its supervision of casinos and VIP touring groups that often bring Chinese high rollers to Manila’s Entertainment City.
“PAGCOR should effectively adopt risk mitigation and risk-based supervision measures,” suggested IMF. Additionally, it said PAGCOR should sell off its casinos and pivot to a regulatory-only capacity.
Not all of the IMF summary about Filipino casinos and money laundering was bad. The review focused on recent actions by Philippines lawmakers. It included the country amending which businesses fall under the country’s anti-money laundering protocols.
Furthermore, The IMF explained, “Anti-Money Laundering/Combating Terrorism Financing (AML/CFT) supervisors should ensure that high-risk reporting entities recognize key risks and fulfill their obligations.”
Casinos Still Remain Closed
Manila’s four integrated resort casinos remain closed through the end of the month due to COVID-19. Late last month, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of commercial casinos.
He’s easing quarantine restrictions and allowing some nonessential businesses to reopen. However, casinos and resorts are exempt and will remain closed until at least April 30.