In response to the European Commission’s AML legislative protocols published earlier this year, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) outlines their support for the package. EC proposes a framework that comprises anti-money laundering rules that creates a consistent application of these throughout Europe, including the online gambling sector.
EGBA praised the Commission’s proposal in July, this year, and now outlines their support of the legislation. It particularly satisfied the betting association that a unified legislative framework is on the horizon, as they believe it will create a more robust approach to crime prevention.
Following the public consultation recently held by EC, the European Parliament and Council will now discuss the package of legislative proposals for approval.
Consistent AML Rules Across the Bloc
The European Commission aims to strengthen the continent’s implementation of the AML framework by creating the consistent application of AML rules. They seek to do this by updating legislative protocols into a more unified approach that encompasses all industries affected by organised crime and money laundering. The updated regulations will include specific guidelines for the online gambling industry.
According to the EGBA, AML compliance is a key priority for gambling operators considering licensing obligations. One way the Association helps operators is by educating them on AML and encouraging them to enforce regulations at the highest standards. EGBA applauds the Commission for introducing the package as a regulation instead of directives. This means the new protocols would be legally binding and enforceable.
In their outline of how they will support the new controls, the EGBA indicated they are establishing the first set of pan-European Guidelines on fighting money laundering. The body believes that the online gambling sector still lacks guidance and they intend to fill in this gap. They will introduce self-regulation rules which cover how to approach proper risk assessment, customer detection and due diligence within the igaming industry.
EGBA said it looks forward to the guidance it will receive from the EU’s AML authority (AMLA) specifically regarding the topics they intend to address in their EU guideline. EGBA hopes the AMLA will answer their continuous calls for industry-specific Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR). They suggest it could achieve this by organising work within AMLA via an industry-specific structure with clusters.
Dissecting the Regulations
Under the new proposals, high-risk activities will receive foremost priority and they will introduce a black list and grey list containing high-risk profiles. The AMLA will coordinate with all AML bodies in Europe and Financial Intelligence Units to create a centralised communication system. This will aid entities in tackling cross-border crimes.
The reform also addresses matters about customer due diligence and the revision of FIU’s obligations. They will also put rules, affecting beneficial ownership, in place. The proposal also outlines the revision of the 2015 regulations on Transfer of Funds to trace transfers of crypto assets.
Cash payments will have a €10,000 cap throughout the continent and specific cryptocurrency legislation is on the table.
Far Off but On Track
The EGBA cautioned the commission to ensure that AML rules do not conflict with other sector rules, like those of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. They also pointed out that with online gambling, the nature and relationship of the business are self-evident.
Therefore, it is unnecessary to establish a risk profile beforehand. Should the European Parliament and Council approve the proposal, it may still take more than a year to be implemented.