As reported by Asia Gaming Brief, the Monetary Authority of Macao (AMCM), Macau’s financial regulatory body, released “updated industry guidance on Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) controls” created for gaming-related clients.
In compliance with document published by the Financial Intelligence Office, the latest updated guidance specify that banks in Macau are forbidden from creating any kind of business relationship with foreign gaming companies. Additionally, it prohibits affiliated firms and junket promoters of foreign gaming companies from easing the motion of funds for gaming-related activities outside Macau. However, this guidance acts as a supplement to the AML/CFT Guideline by the AMCM, which entered into force back in August 2019.
When talking to the aforementioned Asia Gaming Brief, Macao Polytechnic University’s Center for Gaming and Tourism Studies professor, Ryan Ho Hong Wai, commented: “These updates are in response to the new gaming law, as junkets are no longer allowed to deposit funds for their clients.” However, referring to this previous statement, the entire guideline was created “in terms of renewing the entire guidance.”
Additionally, commenting on this matter, AMCM points out: “In view of the significance of gaming activity that is cash intensive and the potential risks associated with gaming activity, as well as to supplement the AMCM AML/CFT Guideline and the Industry Guidance on AML/CFT Controls, this Authority would like to express our expectations of additional enhanced controls by banks over other customers with transactions that could be related to gaming activities, in addition to the enhanced due diligence and ongoing monitoring measures over the Macao gaming concessionaires/sub-concessionaires and licensed junket promoters.”
Will customers accept new updated guidance?
When it comes to clients acceptance of the new guidance, AMCM says: “Banks should establish clear policies and procedures to assess the acceptability of customers connected to gaming activities. When dealing with gaming operators for the purpose of facilitating the movement of funds for gaming activities carried out in Macau’, banks should maintain ‘a robust AML/CFT framework and employ competent, well-trained staff to manage and mitigate the specific and heightened risks inherent in these activities.”
They should also confirm that users have secured validation from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau when the motive of the account is to ease the motion of funds for Macau’s gaming activities.
Due diligence of gaming clients:
One of the conditions for banks in Macau is to collect extra info from clients about the specific motive of their accounts to validate that the accounts are specifically used to organize the motion of funds in Macau casinos for sponsors. However, additional information on the particular reasons for planned and finished transactions, like the inflow of funds from sponsors for Macau’s gaming or the refund of casino markers from foreign casino jurisdictions, is also obligatory.
In addition, the aforementioned banks are also required to carry out improved monitoring of business relations through acquiring extra documented evidence for every performed transaction.