Philippine AML Council Finds POGOs At Risk

The Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) says Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) have a greater risk for money-laundering and terrorism-financing activities.

A risk assessment conducted by the Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) concluded that Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) are at greater risk for money laundering and terrorism financing.

POGOs have “a low level of awareness” of the threat of fraudulent activities, said the AMLC, and therefore has not sufficiently guarded against them. The report found a number of unregulated or unsupervised “service providers” to the online industry and flawed identification about who owns companies involved in the iGaming business.

Service providers were identified as companies that offer products, such as gaming software or content streaming, to licensed POGOs, according to CNN Philippines.

In a March 11 news release, the anti-money laundering watchdog said POGO licenses and certificates of operation given to service providers must be “re-evaluated” in light of the increased threat.

But President Rodrigo Duterte has defended the operations of POGOs, saying the country needs the funds collected from the industry, according to local media reports. He urged the nation’s congress to tighten regulations for POGOs, instead seeking to shut them down.