The gambling regulator in the Philippines, PAGCOR, reportedly introduced a structural change to its teams. PAGCOR established a team that would monitor online gambling only. The regulator dedicated a separate team was tasked to supervise and monitor land-based operations.
Gambling Watchdog Separates Teams to Online and Land-Based
PAGCOR, the Philippine casino regulator and operator, established two separate teams to supervise online gaming operations and land-based casino operations, GGRAsia announced today. The operator explained that the latest move aims at ensuring that all casino licensees are following PAGCOR’s “set rules and regulations.” The latest division in teams affected PAGCOR’s CMED-IR (Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Department – Integrated Resorts), which was established last month. CMED-IR was tasked with monitoring “all licensed casinos in Entertainment City,” as well as Thunderbird and Clark group casinos.
Now, the recent update split CMED into two different divisions. The first one, dubbed CMED-Internet Gaming (IG), will be in charge of monitoring and ensuring compliance for online operations. On the other hand, CMED-Integrated Resorts (IR) will be responsible for land-based gambling venues.
Philippines Is Once Again on FATF’s Gray List
The Philippines has been going in and out of FATF’s (Financial Action Task Force) global list for quite some time now. However, last month, the Paris-based watchdog once again added the country to its list. The list which is also known as the “gray list” includes multiple countries which are being monitored due to failures to implement anti-money laundering regulations.
Furthermore, some countries on the list have allegedly failed to counter terrorism financing. With that in mind, if a country would stay on the list for too long or it doesn’t action within the deadlines set by the Paris-based watchdog, the watchdog may ask neighboring countries to impose various measures to reduce money-laundering.
NACC to Help the Philippines Get Out of the Gray List
The National Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Coordinating Committee (NACC) in the Philippines is responsible for helping the country drop from the gray list. Currently, the NACC includes multiple government agencies such as the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, as well as the PAGCOR. Although PAGCOR did not reveal if the recent update is related to the country’s appearance on the FATF’s list, this may be one of the reasons why the regulator decided to separate its teams, dedicating a team that will focus on land-based casinos and one monitoring online-based operations only.
Furthermore, last week, The Philippine Star revealed that Benjamin Diokno, Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Anti-Money Laundering Council chairman, said that the NACC is “on top of the situation,” referring to the gray list. He acknowledged that even before the FATF’s statement, the NACC organized a meeting with the involved agencies and vowed to accomplish the recommendations within the timeline given by the watchdog. Last but not least, Diokno stressed that “all relevant agencies will work unceasingly to ensure” the country’s compliance.