AMLC: Pogos pose high risk of money laundering
MANILA, Philippines –The internet-based casino sector in the country — commonly known as Philippine offshore gaming operations (Pogos) — “may pose a potential threat and may increase the risk [of] money laundering,” according to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
Based on reports of suspicious transactions from 2013 to 2019, a risk assessment of the sector revealed that the estimated value of proceeds, involving internet-based casinos and service providers, amounted to P14 billion, the AMLC said in a recently released study.
Dubbed “Understanding the Internet-Based Casino Sector in the Philippines: A Risk Assessment,” the study noted that, in 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 10927, known in local parlance as “casino law,” designating casinos, including internet- and ship-based operations, as covered persons under the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001.
The AMLC said the casino sector poses “a high level of risk to money laundering” with its rapid expansion. Its gross gaming revenues rose by 22.5 percent from 2017 to P216.5 billion in 2018. Earnings from Pogos represented about 2.5 percent of the total revenues from 2017 to 2018.
Internet-based casinos, or Pogos, are where non-Filipino gaming patrons residing outside the Philippines play and place bets through gaming websites or stand-alone mobile applications.
Winnings are paid out mostly through debit cards or wire transfers facilitated by online gaming operators and payment solution providers.
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