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HomeNewsPhilippinesPressure to further regulate online gaming industry to continue growing: Analyst

Pressure to further regulate online gaming industry to continue growing: Analyst

International pressure to further regulate the online gaming industry will continue to grow, in Asia and beyond, industry veteran Fredric Gushin commented today.

On the last day of the 6th ASEAN Gaming Summit, Fredric Gushin, industry veteran and CEO of Spectrum Gaming Group, held a seminar on the current AML and gaming regulatory environment in Asia.

The gaming expert underlined that pressure to regulate the industry will keep building “around the world” and not just in Asia, due to the associated risks of criminal activities connected to online overseas operations.

In January of this year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime published a report on the role of casinos, junkets, and cryptocurrency in driving the underground banking and money laundering infrastructure in East and Southeast Asia.

“There is no doubt that Southeast Asia has been the subject of increased scrutiny related to its banking, casino, and online operations”,” Gushin added.

“Online gaming is fine when it’s regulated, but the offshore version is controversial. It offers the greatest risks. Most of the countries, including the Philippines, which license this form of online gaming, have been or are on the gray list of money laundering countries,” Gushin noted.

The legal advisor noted that being placed in this list means the international banking system will place several obstacles to the included countries.

“It means people who work overseas want to send money back or have difficulty getting that money back, countries that have sovereign wealth funds face obstacles raising money and the longer you’re on the gray list, the more obstacles there are,” he pointed out.

According to Gushin there were five to six main issues that the Philippines authorities still needed to address, before being able to be removed from the gray list of the global anti-money laundering watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

These included suspicious transaction reports filed are not being proportionate to the reported gaming volume, or not sufficient oversight in assessing beneficial ownership.

The veteran consultant also pointed out the inconsistency of the Philippines now allowing overseas gambling operations to target its nationals within the country, while allowing operations within the country to target gamblers in other jurisdictions.

Philippine President Marcos ordered in January that the country should exit from the gray list by October this year. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman and CEO, Alejandro H Tengco, also repeatedly vowed that the regulator’s revamp of its POGO sector will help eliminate bad actors within the industry.

“The Philippines seems to be trying to move in the right direction, but they haven’t gotten far enough […] The trend now is jurisdictional, entities licensed in one country try to do business in another country, that’s an outdated model that will go out the same way junkets did,” he concluded.

Nelson Moura
Nelson Moura
Editor and reporter with 10 years of experience in Greater China, namely Taiwan and Macau, in printed and online media, with a focus on finance, gaming, politics, crime, business and social issues.



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