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Compliance Updates

Europe that Protects: Stronger rules criminalising money laundering enter into force

Zoltan Tundik

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Dimitris Avramopoulos at the Europe for Citizens - Meeting of the Civil Dialogue - Date: 28/11/2018 Reference: P-038870/00-05 Location: Brussels - EC/Centre A. Borschette © European Union , 2018 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Benas Gerdziunas
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Today, the new measures to counter money laundering by criminal law enter into force across the EU. The new rules will ensure that dangerous criminals and terrorists face equally severe penalties for money laundering wherever they are in the EU, with a minimum term of imprisonment of 4 years.

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “If we want to catch criminals and terrorists, we have to follow the money. Today, we are beefing up the EU’s response to money laundering, making sure that criminals and terrorists no longer get away with illegally gained money and face deserved justice. A Europe that protects is a Europe that effectively prevents and prosecutes criminals.”

Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King said: “Money laundering is a key tool used by terrorists and serious criminals to obtain funding – by harmonising the crime and the punishment across the EU, we can further close down the space in which they operate. Member States now need to implement the new rules without delay.”

The Commission proposed to harmonise offences and sanctions for money laundering across the EU in December 2017. While all Member States currently criminalise money laundering the definitions of this crime as well as the penalties related to it differ across the EU, allowing criminals to effectively “window shop” and exploit the differences between national legislation.

With the new rules in force that will be no longer possible. Member States now have 24 months to implement the new rules into national law and notify the Commission accordingly.

The recent changes and all AML related topics will be highlighted during Prague Gaming Summit by the attending experts of the gambling industry in a special panel discussion. You can find more details on the following page.

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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Compliance Updates

NJ Regulators Impose Fine on DraftKings

Niji Narayan

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NJ Regulators Impose Fine on DraftKings
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The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has fined DraftKings for violating the self-exclusion rules.

DraftKings has to pay out penalties totalling $7000 to the gaming regulator and return $3277 to customers after failing to adhere to self-exclusion rules.

The regulator hit DraftKings with the maximum $5,000 civil penalty for taking wagers from customers who had requested a “cooling off” period be placed on their accounts.

DraftKings discovered an error within its systems in November 2018 whereby the “cooling off” period had been set to zero days. During the month in which the system was not correctly in place, 54 people who were not meant to be able to deposit were able to place bets totalling $28,887. They lost $3277, which DraftKings will now have to pay back.

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Compliance Updates

State Duma Approves the Bill to Simplify Customer Registration of Russian-licensed Online Sports Betting Sites

Niji Narayan

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State Duma Approves the Bill to Simplify Customer Registration of Russian-licensed Online Sports Betting Sites
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Russia’s lower legislative body has approved the bill to simplify the customer registration process for Russian-licensed online sports betting sites.

State Duma has approved the third and final reading of federal law 423799-7, which will dramatically simplify the customer registration process. To take effect, the bill now requires the approval of the Federation Council and Vladimir Putin’s signature.

The bill explains that the “complex duplicate identification procedures” currently required to register with a Russian online bookmaker “encourages players to search for ways to overcome government measures … in order to gain access to foreign sites subjected to blocking by [Russian telecom watchdog] Roskomnadzor.”

The new legislation would allow bookmakers to delegate responsibility for customer identification to the TSUPIS, which will have three business days in which to transfer the info to the bookie. However, bookmakers may opt to conduct some due diligence on any new customer, just to be on the safe side.

If a bettor has already registered with Russia’s public services portal, both the bookmaker and the TSUPIS can accept this information as proof of the customer’s identity, so the customer need not make a physical trip anywhere.

There are some downsides to the simplified registration process, including a cap of RUB60k per individual transaction and a monthly cap of RUB200k for all transactions. However, this monthly cap can be overridden if the player verifies his document at TSUPIS partner’s retail location.

Nikolai Oganezov, who represents Betcity told that the new simplified registration could boost the overall domestic online betting customer base by 5% this year, with the growth up to 15% possible by the end of 2020.

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Compliance Updates

Maine Legislature Passes Sports Betting Bill

Niji Narayan

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Maine Legislature Passes Sports Betting Bill
Image Source: playusa.com
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Maine legislature has passed the sports betting bill. The Legislative Document 553 was given final approval by each chamber of the legislature and will now pass to Governor Janet Mills to be signed into law.

LD553 opens up the market to all of the state’s bricks and mortar gaming venues, such as commercial racetracks, off-track betting facilities, and commercial and tribal casinos. It will also allow mobile operators to apply for licences without the need for a land-based partner in the state.

Successful applicants will have to pay $20,000 as licence fee, 10% tax on land-based wagering revenue and 16% rate for mobile wagering. The bulk of revenue raised through these taxes will be allocated to the Maine General Fund.

Operators will be permitted to offer odds on all professional, collegiate and amateur sports events. Betting on events involving Maine-based colleges and universities will be prohibited. Only citizens aged 21 and above will be allowed to bet.

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