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Compliance Updates

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

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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.

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Compliance Updates

Isabelle FALQUE-PIERROTIN was elected Chairwoman of the Gambling Regulators’ European Forum

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Isabelle FALQUE-PIERROTIN was elected Chairwoman of the Gambling Regulators' European Forum
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The annual conference of the Gambling Regulators’ European Forum (GREF) was held from 5 to 7 June in Bergen, Norway. More than 90 participants from around thirty regulators from all over Europe met to discuss subjects of common interest, such as player protection, the fight against illegal gambling and recent technological innovations that could have an impact on gambling.

The General Meeting elected a new Board, which is now chaired by Isabelle FALQUE-PIERROTIN, the  Autorité nationale des jeux’ s chairwoman,  for a 2-year term. The Board is composed of :

  • Anders Dorph (Spillemyndighedens – Danish regulator), Vice-Chairm ;
  • Tim Miller (UK Gambling Commission), Treasurer;
  • Sarah Kelly (Alderney Gambling Control Commission), Secretary;
  • Magali Clavie (Commission des jeux de hasard – Belgian regulator), Atle Hamar (Lottstift – Norwegian regulator) and Kinga Warda (Malta Gaming Authority – Maltese regulator), Ordinary Members.

GREF aims to strengthen cooperation between regulators. In the light of new market challenges, cooperation is crucial to enable regulators to better understand trends and develop effective and legitimate solutions.

An first assessment of the new Board’s activities will be made at the next GREF Annual Conference, to be held in Malta in May 2024.

Isabelle FALQUE-PIERROTIN commented: “In this time of innovation accelerating and challenging current regulations, and of public opinion concerned about player protection, European level is crucial. We are indeed facing common questions and our exchanges are productive. I believe that in this very complicated period, regulators have a specific voice that needs to be heard, one that listens to the various stakeholders and serves to protect players“.

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Compliance Updates

UK Gambling Commission Grants LiveG24 a License for Live Bingo Game

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The Gambling Commission, the regulatory authority for the gambling industry in the United Kingdom (UK), has issued a new license to LiveG24, the renowned provider of online gaming solutions, for offering Live Bingo in the British market.

The granting of this license marks a significant milestone for LiveG24, which has demonstrated a consistent commitment to providing safe, transparent and high-quality gaming experiences to its users. The Gambling Commission’s license approval is a recognition of LiveG24’s operational excellence in the gambling sector.

LiveG24’s Live Bingo, developed in partnership with Diecimilauno SpA, offers enthusiasts an engaging and interactive experience through real-time streaming technology. Players can participate in live gaming sessions, communicate with the host and interact with fellow participants, all conveniently from their mobile devices or computers.

“We are extremely proud to receive this license from the Gambling Commission,” the Chief Operating Officer for LiveG24, Angelo De Gobbi, said. “Live Bingo is a significant part of our product offering and this approval further strengthens our presence in the UK market. We will continue to focus on innovation, security and player satisfaction.”

With the acquisition of this license, LiveG24 expands its presence in the UK online gambling market, offering both live casino games and a new and immersive entertainment option for bingo enthusiasts. The company is committed to delivering a quality gaming experience while fully complying with industry norms and regulations.

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Compliance Updates

Ukrainians lend their support to Parimatch as 25,000-strong petition delivered to President Zelenskyy

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Ukrainians lend their support to Parimatch as 25,000-strong petition delivered to President Zelenskyy
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The petition is asking the President to order a thorough investigation into the arbitrary sanctions imposed on the company

An official petition requesting President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to review the decision to impose sanctions against Parimatch LLC has garnered over the required 25,000 signatures 14 days ahead of the deadline, as the Ukrainian public rallies behind the Company in its fight to uphold the rule of law in Ukraine and unblock its popular services in the country.

Under Ukrainian law an official petition that gathers 25,000 signatures is referred directly to the President for consideration. President Zelenskyy now has 10 days to act in the case which has become a touchstone issue for tens of thousands of Ukrainians who want to see their country become a successful democracy where the rule of law is firmly established and respected.

Parimatch, a popular international sports betting and online gambling company that provides its services to satisfied customers across three continents, has strong roots in Ukraine where the business originated. It was sanctioned by Ukraine earlier this year and banned from operating in the country for 50 years, which has impacted hundreds of thousands of citizens who can no longer access or retrieve their funds. The ban was the result of a flawed and unfair investigation that falsely claimed the Company was doing business in Russia.

Parimatch has provided expert independent legal opinion that confirms the Company ended its third-party licence agreements with Russian entities in March 2022, immediately after Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. This entailed terminating software and trademark licensing agreements it previously had with a Russian entity. Full information about the sanctions against Parimatch can be found on the website https://justice4business .com/en/ that provides extensive documentation about the unfair sanctions and the Company’s legal position.

Maxym Liashko, Managing Partner of Energame, Parimatch’s management company, said:

“We are Ukrainian patriots. Our fellow countrymen and countrywomen unequivocally agree with that. We have supported our country against Russia’s full-scale invasion from the first day, and immediately moved to terminate any remaining legacy business in the aggressor country. We are confident that Ukraine is on an irreversible road to becoming a democratic European nation where people can live and do business freely, while enjoying the full protection of the law. We trust that our President, a champion of the rule of law and liberal democratic values, will do the right thing and order a review of the unjust sanctions that were imposed on us in a flawed and unfair process.

“We all agree that it is the right and the duty of Ukrainian authorities to sanction entities or individuals that seek to undermine the country. Sanctions are a powerful tool in the fight against the invaders and their supporters. However, mistakes are sometimes made, as happened in the case of Parimatch. A robust review and appeal system is therefore an essential part of any sanctions regime.”

The petition also highlights Parimatch’s support for the Ukrainian army and wider war effort that so far has totalled 547 mln hryvnia ($14 mln) and is still ongoing. As an international company proud of its strong Ukrainian roots, Parimatch will remain an unwavering supporter of Ukrainian sovereignty in the face of Russia’s illegal war of aggression.

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