Sunday 16 December
Apr 21, 2016 @ 18:05

Ricky Razon in favor of including casinos in laundering law


Bilyonaryo Enrique Razon Jr. is in a favor of including casinos in the list covered institutions that will be required to report suspicious transactions to the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

Razon is chairman and chief executive officer of Bloomberry Resorts Corp. that operates the Solaire Resort and Casino where a portion of the $81 million stolen by hackers from the Bangladesh Bank was laundered.

He said there threshold for reporting transactions for casinos should be higher compared to other covered institutions.

?Absolutely, the problem with casinos and the banks the threshold has to be different. If we stick to the present threshold, we will report everybody who comes to the casinos,? Razon said.

Under the country?s Anti-Money Laundering Act, all covered institutions, need to report transactions involving a total amount in excess of P500,000 to Anti-Money Laundering Council.

?AMLA is just to protect from people who are doing things that are not legal. We don?t want those people here anyway,? Razon added.

The government is strongly pushing for the inclusion of casinos among the covered institutions following ing $81 million money laundering scandal.

Razon however said casino is not a good avenue for money laundering activities.

?It?s not recommended but if you are laundering money don?t do it in the casino because the casino will let make you play the entire amount at least once. So if you lose it all, nawala na yung ni-launder mo. It?s not the place to do it, in fact it?s the worst place,? Razon explained.

Meanwhile, Razon expects Bloomberry to return to profit this year after it posted a net loss of P3.37 billion in 2015.

?Outlook is far better this year because we?ve cleaned up all the problem accounts. It should be positive this year because of much lower cost and no more bad accounts and bad debt and more revenues,? Razon said.

Razon also hinted the possibility of having an oversupply in the domestic gaming industry in the next two to three years with the opening of more casinos within the Pagcor Entertainment City.

?The market is not growing but supply is growing faster than the market,? Razon said.

There are currently two casinos operating within the Pagcor Entertainment City, namely Solaire Resorts & Casino and City of Dreams Manila.

Two more casinos are slated to open.These are Westside City of Andrew Tan-led Travellers International Hotel Group Inc. and Manila Bay Resorts of Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada.

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