The Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has named two Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) it says have failed or refused to cooperate with compliance checks.
According to a notice posted on the AMLC website, MG Universal Link Limited and Inner Strong Limited – two of the 36 POGO licensees authorized to operate as of 6 August 2021 – failed to cooperate in the conduct of its compliance-checking.
The AMLC also said it had informed the licensees’ supervising authority, gaming regulator PAGCOR, that it had resolved to “revoke the registration of those covered persons who failed or refused to cooperate with the AMLC” and that the public is advised to be cautious of dealing with operators under the licensees’ purview.
The warning comes after offshore gaming operators and their service providers were recently added to the list of persons covered by the AMLC under amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001. The amended Act gives the AMLC authority to conduct compliance checks, provided at least 24 hours’ notice is given, on any of the organizations it covers.
As previously reported by IAG, the Philippines was one of four nations named by global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), as being subject to increased monitoring in order to help strengthen its AML and CTF effectiveness.
The regulation of POGOs has been gradually tightening in recent months, with President Rodrigo Duterte having signed into law in September a new tax on gross gaming revenues.