Spotlight: AML risks and failures in Asia Pacific Gambling Hubs

Heightened scrutiny by regulatory authorities highlights multiple anti-money laundering (AML) failures and emerging financial crime concerns for casinos operating in APAC locations.

Recent AML failings in casinos have been extensively reported in the media. Casino operators in Asia Pacific (APAC) have been subject to probes and investigations by local authorities for cultural failings observed in their management, and their alleged involvement in facilitating money laundering. This paper will discuss the investigation outcomes in 4 APAC gambling hubs.

In APAC, money laundering continues to pose a significant concern in the casino industry, while other financial crimes such as human trafficking are also seen to emerge within the gaming sector. The global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), has cited a failure to adequately regulate or enforce regulations on the gaming sector as a partial reason for the Philippines and Cambodia being listed as countries under increased monitoring. Inclusion on the FATF list can have far reaching implications for a country emphasising the growing importance of adequately regulating the gaming sector.

In APAC, the rules and regulations concerning gaming are complex. As gambling entities expand their offerings via online gaming options, it becomes more vital than ever to understand the risks involved and the regulations to ensure laws are not violated. This article covers recent investigation outcomes, new areas of financial crime risk and a non-exhaustive list of controls that entities operating in this sector could implement.

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