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PH currently facing pressure to be removed from FATF gray list

March 22, 2024 Philippines iGaming & GamblingIndustry Updates

Daniel Cheng said in his address at the ASEAN Gaming Summit that the Philippines’ regulatory environment continues to have a significant impact on the country’s increase in gross gaming revenue.

Pressure is now mounting for the nation to be removed on the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) gray list, an international body that fights money laundering. Cheng emphasized the uncertainty surrounding the expansion of gaming in the face of this pressure.

Cheng discovered that the Philippines’ legal system is more lax than that of other popular gaming destinations like Macau, Singapore, and Malaysia, permitting activities like VIP rooms and proxy gaming. Despite this, phone-based remote betting continues to be a major income stream for Filipino casinos, positioning the nation as a pioneer in the industry’s latest developments.

According to Cheng, some of this increase can be attributed to the launch of new gaming items and the legal framework, which draws junkets from other locations like Macau and Cambodia. Gaming experts think that the existing regulatory structure must be maintained in order to facilitate the Philippines’ projected increase in gross gaming income over the next years.

According to Alejandro H. Tengco, the chairman and CEO of PAGCOR, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, the Philippines will overtake Singapore in 2019 to take second position in Asia after Macau as the largest gaming market. Above PHP 285 billion ($5.14 billion) in the previous year, PAGCOR predicts a record-breaking GGR of PHP 336 billion ($6.1 billion) this year.

Despite these hopeful expectations, the Philippines has been put on the FATF’s grey list because of concerns about junket operators, a lack of convictions, and investigations into money laundering and support for terrorism. The longer the Philippines is categorized as gray, the more likely it is that it will be prohibited. In response, President Marcos issued an executive order mandating that the country be removed off the gray list by October of this year.

Original story by: Asia Gaming Brief

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