Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has issued new guidelines for land-based casinos in assessing the suitability of their junket partners.
Titled “Casino Guide for a Fitness and Propriety Assessment for Junket Operators V1.0”, PAGCOR said in a notice published Monday that the guidelines were “established to aid land-based casinos in their obligation to assess the fitness and propriety nature of its junket or chipwashing operations, its associates/agents/ promoters, and applicants for junket operations.”
The guide sets out the criteria for the integrity, fitness and propriety of those people responsible for junket operations, forming part of the regulator’s efforts to strengthen anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing controls.
PAGCOR said the guidelines focus on three key areas of assessment: Reputation, Honesty and Integrity; Competence and Capability as it relates to Experience, Educational Background and Other Qualifications; and Financial Soundness.
On Reputation, Honesty and Integrity, the guidelines state, “The criteria examined by licensed casinos include whether key individuals have been convicted on indictment of dishonesty, fraud, breach of trust, money laundering, terrorist financing, proliferation financing, theft or financial crimes.”
On Competence and Capability, criteria is to include “whether key persons satisfy relevant training requirements in relation to the function they perform or are intended to perform and whether key persons demonstrate, by experience and training, that they are suitable to perform the function.”
The Financial Soundness criteria includes requirements around past bankruptcy proceedings and “whether the key persons have been subject to any judgement debt or award in the Philippines or elsewhere that remains outstanding or was not satisfied either in whole or in part.”
The new guidelines come after PAGCOR in March found former Macau junket leader Suncity Group unsuitable to hold a license to operate junkets in the Philippines following an investigation into allegations the company withheld funds from customers.
PAGCOR said at the time that there was “substantial evidence to support the claims against Suncity” and its former CEO Alvin Chau, and that both are therefore declared unsuitable to hold any authority or license to operate a junket business in the country.
Chau was arrested in Macau in November on charges of alleged criminal association, illegal gambling and money laundering. Suncity shut down its junket business in December.