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Compliance Updates

Georgia’s Finance Minister Presents New Initiative to Reduce Gambling-Related Money Laundering

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Georgia’s Finance Minister Presents New Initiative to Reduce Gambling-Related Money Laundering
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Ivane Matchavariani, the Finance Minister of Georgia, has presented a new initiative to reduce money laundering risks related to gambling.

The initiative includes the implementation of a new system for the registration and verification of the identity of players. It also aims to create a list of people addicted to gambling and to control the movement of funds through identified channels.

Matchavariani said that the regulation of the sector is important as the sector is vulnerable to being used in money laundering schemes.

“There are many examples in the world when an incorrectly regulated gambling sector did more harm to society, and [can give rise to] illegal activity…That is why it is important to find the golden average of the regulation that achieves goals and avoids negative factors such as criminal growth,” Matchavariani said.

Asia

China to Expand Blacklist of Overseas Gambling Destinations Again

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China to Expand Blacklist of Overseas Gambling Destinations Again
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China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has announced its plans to introduce a “third batch” of blacklist measures aimed at overseas tourist destinations that attract Chinese tourists for gambling activities.

The ministry also said it would work with several other government departments to “suspend tour groups and arrangement of tourist visas” for outbound travel to these destinations.

As with earlier official mentions of China’s overseas-gambling blacklist, the latest announcement did not identify the places concerned.

The ministry mentioned on Friday its previous approach of including several overseas destinations – in “two batches” – in its “blacklist system” for cross-border gambling tourist destinations. It said such an approach was to “better regulate the travel market” and “safeguard the lives and financial safety of Chinese citizens”.

“The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is to adopt a measure to blacklist a third batch of travel destinations, in response to the recent developments whereby some cities abroad have lured Chinese tourists for gambling activities,” stated the ministry.

It added: “The ministry will – together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security, the National Immigration Administration and the Civil Aviation Administration of China – adopt measures to suspend outbound tour groups and the arrangement of tourist visas for trips to these cities and attractions abroad that are on the ‘blacklist’; and reinforce the restrictive measures on business jets [travel] and charter services.”

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism also noted that the “blacklist” of travel destinations would be “dynamically adjusted” in accordance to any changes seen in overseas markets.

Under a new amendment in mainland China criminal law – with effect from March 1 – anyone who “organises” trips for mainland Chinese for the purpose of overseas gambling will be deemed to have committed a criminal act.

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Central Europe

HooYu Launches New KYC Solution for German Gambling Market

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HooYu Launches New KYC Solution for German Gambling Market
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Leading KYC provider HooYu has launched a new KYC solution for the German gambling market.

The single solution orchestrates Schufa identity data checks, KJM-approved facial biometrics and ID document validation, video verification with a live human agent, PEPs and Sanctions watchlist screening and payment card checks.

This range of services can be orchestrated via HooYu to make gaming operators fully compliant with age verification and KYC requirements in the German market. The five services can be orchestrated to deliver different journeys for different customer lifecycle stages such as sign-up, high-value deposit, fraud risk and pay-out.

“The HooYu suite of services truly supports German gaming operators to meet age verification and AML compliance requirements,” Jochen Biewer, German gambling licensing expert and Managing Director of Chevron Consultants GmBH, said.

“HooYu is a KYC orchestration and customer onboarding platform that not only helps operators to build KYC processes, but to maximise customer onboarding success rates. German operators can now use one HooYu API to call on any or all of these services as part of their age verification, fraud or anti-money laundering controls,” David Pope, Marketing Director at HooYu, said.

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Compliance Updates

Dutch Gambling Regulator Imposes €500,000 Fine on N1 Interactive Limited

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Dutch Gambling Regulator Imposes €500,000 Fine on N1 Interactive Limited
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Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has imposed a fine of €500,000 (£425,967.50) on Maltese-based company N1 Interactive Limited.

Since the Netherlands operates a regulated offline gambling market, whereby online gambling is not yet (but soon to be) allowed, N1 received a fine for offering illegal gaming to Dutch players.

Words like “Amsterdam” were used as bonus codes aimed towards the Dutch audience, alongside zero indication on the N1 website of the Netherlands being a prohibited country for online gaming. The amount of the fine was determined across a number of circumstances; and extra fines were accrued by N1 for failing to add a visible age verification option alongside charging players extra for “inactivity fees”.

Legally, offering any online gambling is only permitted if a company has a licence. It is especially unlawful to offer any type of online gambling via the internet to the Netherlands, a country which previously banned online gambling, and according to the KSA is deemed as “forbidden”.

There seems to be a slight revamp in this regulation since 1 April when the Remote Gambling Act (KOA) came into effect. With this, it will now be possible to apply for a licence to offer online gaming from 1 October 2021.

With a view to protecting the Netherlands from illegal online gambling, the KSA has ensured N1’s website, Betchan, has since been removed and is no longer accessible.

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