EU Tightens the Grip on Money Laundering with New Regulations! Gambling companies, brace yourselves!

Friday, 10 May 2024

by Ioana Ungureanu, AML&RM Expert

Get ready for a game-changing update in the fight against financial crime!

The European Union is rolling out a powerhouse of regulations to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, with profound implications for businesses across industries.

 

Here’s the scoop:

  1. Unified AML Approach: EU’s Single Rulebook simplifies and strengthens AML rules across the board, ensuring a unified front against financial crime.
  2. Stricter Requirements: AMLD6 complements the Single Rulebook by requiring the verification of the beneficial ownership info & flagging sanctions links, opening up access to this info for journalists & public with “legitimate interest”, giving FIUs more power to investigate with wider information access, to raise the bar on combating illicit activities.
  3. Meet the AML Watchdog: Say hello to AMLA, the EU’s new central authority, set to revolutionize AML supervision and enforcement, work with national authoritiesto ensure consistent AML/CTF supervision for all businesses, maintain a central database to track relevant information and monitor how firms implement sanctions and asset seizures.
  4. The EU plugs a gap in its AML package with the Recast Funds Transfer Regulation. This rule, effective in December 2024, tackles crypto-assets by focusing on “Travel Rule” – similar to traditional banking, crypto transfers will include originator and beneficiary data for traceability – and on how Crypto Service Providers (CASPs) ensure crypto transfers are monitored.

Money Laundering

But what’s in it for you?

  • More Businesses Affected: From crypto services to luxury goods traders and professional football clubs, the reach of AML regulations expands, calling for heightened compliance measures.
  • Tighter Controls: Enhanced due diligence – for cross-border relationships for CASPs and high net-worth individuals -, cash payment limits and standardized ownership checks aim to plug loopholes and deter illicit activities.
  • AMLA’s Impact: The EU’s new watchdog promises consistent oversight and a level playing field for businesses, with a focus and direct oversee on high-risk sectors across the EU.

For gambling companies, brace yourselves:

  • Stricter KYC: Get ready for beefed-up customer verification procedures, including sources of funds for high-rollers, and increased scrutiny on high-value transactions.
  • Transaction Monitoring:More stringent monitoring of transactions for suspicious activity, such as large or frequent deposits/withdrawals with no clear source of wealth
  • Cryptocurrency Tracking:The “travel rule” requires origin and beneficiary data for all crypto transfers, including those related to gambling platforms accepting cryptocurrencies.
  • Increased Scrutiny:The central AML authority (AMLA) may directly supervise high-risk gambling operators, leading to more inspections and potential penalties for non-compliance.
  • Standardized Practices:AMLA aims for a consistent approach to AML across the EU, potentially forcing national legislations to converge.

Stay Ahead of the Game:

  • Track updates:Monitor EU AML changes to ensure ongoing compliance.
  • Ramp Up Compliance: Review and strengthen your AML protocols to meet the new standards.
  • Invest in Tech: Embrace innovative solutions to streamline compliance efforts and mitigate risks effectively.
  • Level up due diligence:Strengthen KYC (Know Your Customer) procedures to identify money laundering risks.
  • Build strong controls:Implement systems to prevent and detect suspicious activity.
  • Train your team:Educate employees on AML regulations.
  • Collaborate for Success: Work hand-in-hand with regulatory bodies and AML experts to navigate the evolving landscape. In a nutshell, compliance is the name of the game!

Gambling operators should start preparing for the new regulations by reviewing their existing AML/CTF policies and procedures.

Stay sharp, stay compliant, and stay ahead of the curve in the fight against financial crime!





Author: Editor

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