By Mark T. Amoguis
Senior Researcher

THE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING COUNCIL (AMLC) has tweaked rules on administrative cases to cover casinos — including their officers, directors and employees — and introduced gradation of fines according to gravity of violation.

The AMLC Procedural Issuance on Rules of Procedure on Administrative Cases (RPAC) — signed on July 26 and published in a newspaper last week — repealed the Rules on Imposition of Administrative Sanctions (RIAS) signed on May 24, 2017 and which took effect on Aug. 8 that year.

“The RPAC is intended to apply to administrative cases for non-compliance with, or violations of the AMLA (Anti-Money Laundering Act), as amended, and its implementing rules and regulations, and guidelines and issuances of the AMLC,” the AMLC said in a statement on its Web site.

“The RPAC covers not only administrative cases against covered persons, but also those against its individual officers, directors and employees of the covered person.”

Aside from covering the entities regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Insurance Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as non-financial businesses and professions such as jewelry dealers and precious metals and stones dealers, the RPAC also includes casinos, including the Internet- and ship-based ones, “with respect to their casino cash transactions related to their gaming operations.”

Casinos are considered “covered persons” under the Republic Act No. 10927 — enacted in 2017 — amending the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001.

The RPAC also revised upward respondent classification according to asset size. Micro is classified as those with assets of up to P10 million (from up to P3 million previously); small, P10,000,000.01 to P100 million (from P3,000,000.01 to P15 million); medium, P100,000,000.01 to P1 billion (from P15,000,000.01 to P100 million); Large A, P1,000,000,000.01 to P50 billion (from P100,000,000.01 to P500 million); and Large B, P50,000,000,000.01 and above (from P500,000,000.01 and above).

The AMLC also revised fines according to an entity’s asset size and gravity of violation.

As with the previous rules, violations are classified as grave, major, serious, less serious and light, but the new rules further breaks down each classification into minimum, medium and maximum levels.

The new rules also introduced a separate schedule of fines for non-compliance with submission of covered transaction reports. Covered are transactions in cash or other equivalent monetary instrument involving a total amount in excess of P500,000 within one banking day.