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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

Victory for Lottery in Pennsylvania Casinos’ Gambling Lawsuit

Niji Narayan

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Victory for Lottery in Pennsylvania Casinos’ Gambling Lawsuit
Photo Source: post-gazette.com
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Pennsylvania casinos have lost a bid to close down online lottery games that they say are too much like casino gambling, just days before the state’s first casinos launch their own online gambling portals.

The decision of Commonwealth Court is a victory for the state lottery, although the casino owners’ 9-month-old lawsuit will continue.

Lottery officials say the games are in accordance with the 2017 state law that authorised them, but the casinos argue that some online lottery games violate it because they simulate slot machines and casino-style gambling.

The state regulators will allow Parx Casino and Penn Nation’s Hollywood Casino to launch their online gambling portals to patrons statewide as part of a three-day test.

New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada are the only other states that allow online casino gambling.

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Compliance Updates

SYNOT Games Secures Portuguese License

Niji Narayan

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SYNOT Games Secures Portuguese License
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SYNOT Games, an established content supplier licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority, has acquired the certification to enter the Portuguese iGaming market.

The regulatory news comes after recent launches in Sweden and Denmark and outlines further expansion to south European markets expected in the upcoming weeks and months.

“Portugal is another significant destination for SYNOT Games and marks our entry to the Iberian Peninsula. The certification underlines our commitment to further focus on expansion in regulated markets. We believe that our diverse portfolio will prove to be highly popular among Portuguese players,” Ivan Kodaj, CEO at SYNOT Games said.

Portuguese market has gone live in 2017. Last year, revenues in online gaming and betting show significant growth compared to the previous year.

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Compliance Updates

Kansspelautoriteit Proposes New Licensing Rule

Niji Narayan

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Kansspelautoriteit Proposes New Licensing Rule
Image Source: iamexpat.nl
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Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the gambling regulator in the Netherlands, has announced a new rule that would implement a two year “cooling off” period for potential gambling licensees.

The rule, which is still at the draft stage, requires all operators applying for a KSA licence to have refrained from providing online gambling products to consumers in the Netherlands for a period of two years.

Before the passing of Remote Gambling Act 2018, the Netherlands government said that it would be important to avoid offering licenses to gambling operators that had targeted the Dutch market.

As per the new rule, the KSA will apply six tests to establish whether a company had illegally targeted Dutch consumers, as part of its ongoing work to establish the licensing process. It is expected that licensing will begin in July 2020.

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