SENATOR Francis Escudero on Thursday said proposed amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) are expected to be approved by Congress during the first quarter of 2017 ahead of the scheduled plenary session of Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in June. Escudero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, said he had discussed the measure with his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Rep. Ben Evardone, who would be in charge of crafting the House version of the bill. The senator has sponsored a committee report that seeks to further amend Republic Act 9160 or AMLA of 2001 and include casinos in coverage of the law. The casinos’ inclusion in the list of AMLA is one of the recommendations by the FATF after its assessment three years ago. In the amended act, the cash threshold for any covered transactions is anything exceeding P500,000 or $10,000 or other equivalent monetary instrument. Also covered by the expanded law are money services business or money transfer companies; dealers of precious stones, jewels and metals; dealers of high-value items or goods; and real estate developers, brokers and sales agents.