EU warns member states to get tough on gambling AML compliance

Toughening up European laws and practices against money laundering and organised crimes, the European Union may force bookmakers to implement ID-checks on customers that wager more than €2000.

The tougher provisions form part of the EU-wide anti-money laundering directive, aimed at minimising terror organisations and criminal gangs’ ability to launder money through legitimate enterprises.

The EU Council had previously warned betting industry stakeholders, that tougher AML regulations would be introduced to the multi-billion € gambling market, with companies being warned in a number of published consultations.

Last June, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) issued an industry update, reminding operators of requesting identity checks on customer transactions, warning stakeholders that failure to implement ID-checks would breach conditions of UK licensing.

Reacting to new AML directives, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) a popular European regulatory body and jurisdiction for gambling operators has this month published its industry consultation, urging stakeholders to ‘get smart on new EU-wide AML regulations’.

A number of Industry market analysts believe that tougher EU-wide regulations are forthcoming, as listed operators enter a crucial H2 2017 trading period. Further regulatory and compliance requirements may disrupt bookmakers’ performance, in what has already been an unkind 2017.

The EU seeks to quickly implement/establish its new AML directive, which has been outlined as a key business/commercial requirement for member states.

Last week Vera Jourova, the EU Justice Commissioner, rebuked national governments stating that 17 EU member states had failed to begin implementing compliance changes. Following two-years of member consultations, The new rules, known as the “fourth anti-money laundering directive”, were supposed to take full effect across the EU on June 26.

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