Republic Act No. 10927 – Anti-Money Laundering Act

The Republic Act No. 10927 was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte as an amendment to Republic Act 9160. The new law makes transactions of P5 million or more in Philippine pesos or equivalent currency a transaction that now under the law must be reported to the Anti-Money Laundering Council. Aimed at targeting illegal activities this new law is to protect casino goers and to help put a stop to illegal money laundering. The revisions added new definitions to extend the reach of Republic Act 9160.

What Is The Definition Of Money Laundering In The Philippines?

Defined by the Republic Act 9160, money laundering is converting, transferring, moving, acquiring, concealing or disguising the true nature, source, location or ownership of money that relates to the proceeds from unlawful activity. Criminals often use foreign banks or legitimate businesses to funnel in their illegally gained money. Often times the money is then exchanged into legitimate money by unknowing businesses. Casinos are often used to exchange illegal money into casino credit or legitimate winnings. Republic Act 10927 is a robust effort to curtail illegal activities that attempt to align themselves with illegitimate or legitimate gambling operations. It is a welcome addition to existing Philippine gambling laws.

Republic Act 9160 – 2001 Anti-Money Laundering Act

Better known as the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 or AMLA, is an Act set up to combat illegal activities associated with organized crime and money laundering. This Act defines money laundering in the Philippines and lays down jurisdiction for prosecution. The Republic Act 9160 also created the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and establishes its functions. The law also sets preemptive measures and provisions for a freeze order and bank inquiry with an approved court order. Act 9160 also gives the AMLC the power to request assistance from other foreign countries to fight illegal money laundering activities.

Provisions Set By Republic Act No. 10927

There are 8 provisions to the Anti-Money Laundering Act by means of the Republic Act No. 10927. These amendments were drafted to assist authorities in combating illegal money laundering activities by giving more detailed instructions and a wider scope to peruse criminals who use the casinos. This act was issued to include casinos into the list of entities that are subject to the provisions and to include internet and ship-based casinos under the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001. The provisions define transactions as cash or any other monetary form including a total amount that exceeds P500k within one banking day or a single transaction for more than P5 million in PHP or equivalent currency. It gives proper authority to the Anti-Money Laundering Council to freeze assets for a 20-day period if probable cause is determined, and for The Court of Appeals to prepare for a summary to determine the outcome of the freeze period.

Does Republic Act No. 10927 Affect Legal Online Gambling?

This Act will not affect legal Philippines online gambling from legally sanctioned offshore sites. Philippine players can gamble on legitimately licensed and regulated offshore sites if the casino or server is not licensed from a Philippine agency. This act only affects brick-and-mortar casinos located in the Philippines and online casinos that are licensed by a Philippine agency. It will only affect bets in excess of P500k and there should be no problem as long as you can prove where the source of the money comes from.  You will not see restricted access to legal online casinos accepting Filipino players, legal Philippines poker sites, Philippine legal horse betting or Filipino friendly online sportsbooks.

How Does This Affect Casino Owners?

Casino owners will now have to report transactions of P500k or more to the Anti-Money Laundering Agency. Casinos also must implement risk management policies to curb illegal activities and be prepared for an audit that would require records of their players for the last five years. Because of this casino owners must now keep more detailed records of their players and are no longer allowed to accept aliases. The AMLC is now authorized to launch investigations and compliance checks of casinos if they suspect money laundering or terrorist funding. Casinos that fail to comply with AMLC investigations will face severe fines, penalties, and judicial processing.

How Does Republic Act 10927 Affect Gamblers?

Philippine casinos will now collect personal information from their players before deposits can be made. Personal information may include: legal name, date, city of birth, present and permanent address, contact information, nationality, place of work, and source of funds. Players who cannot provide legal identification supporting their personal information will not be allowed to deposit or receive casino chips to play. The same entails for online casinos. This Act is an effort to make casinos a safer place to play and to make money laundering harder for criminals.

How Will This Law Affect My Gambling Experience?

The Anti-Money Laundering Act will provide players with a sense of security knowing that there are efforts in place to keep organized crime activities away from the casinos. You will now have to give more detailed information and provide a government-issued identification which may result in a few extra minutes at the cashier line. Once identification is established you will be free to play and should not have to go through the detailed process again. High rollers who like to gamble in excess amounts of P500k might be subject to the new legislation but if you have nothing to hide then you should have nothing to worry about. Most players will not notice any differences when they are accessing legal online gambling sites.