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Compliance Updates

EGBA Welcomes European Parliament’s Approval Of New EU Anti-Money Laundering Framework

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EGBA Welcomes European Parliament’s Approval Of New EU Anti-Money Laundering Framework
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The EU’s new anti-money laundering package aims to create a more consistent regulatory framework and will benefit online gambling operators by standardising AML rules and reporting requirements across member states.

Brussels, 24 April 2024 – The European Parliament has approved the EU’s new anti-money laundering (AML) package at its plenary sitting today, marking a significant milestone towards a new EU framework for combatting financial crime. The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), representing Europe’s leading online gambling operators, welcomes the Parliament’s approval of the new AML package and believes the incoming rule changes will strengthen the EU’s approach to tackling money laundering.

The new package will contain:

  • single rulebook regulation – with provisions on conducting due diligence on customers, transparency of beneficial owners and the use of crypto-assets.
  • The 6th Anti-Money Laundering Directive – containing national provisions on supervision and national AML authorities, as well as on the access of authorities to necessary and reliable information, e.g. beneficial ownership registers.
  • The establishment of the European Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) – which have supervisory and investigative powers to ensure compliance with AML requirements, operating in conjunction with national AML authorities.

EGBA believes the new rules will benefit Europe’s online gambling operators by ensuring a consistent regulatory approach across EU member states. Another important feature, under the competence of AMLA, will be the creation of a harmonised reporting format for Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs). This will ensure that Europe’s online gambling operators encounter the same STR requirements across all EU member states, thereby setting clear and consistent expectations that will reduce administrative burdens and costs.

To assist online gambling operators in complying with the EU’s new AML rules, EGBA has developed industry-specific guidelines on anti-money laundering which apply a risk-based approach and include practical measures that operators can take – on customer and business risk assessments, customer due diligence processes, suspicious transaction reporting, and record keeping. EGBA members already apply the guidelines and submit annual reports to EGBA that summarise their progress in implementing its measures. The guidelines are also open to all operators based in the EU and EGBA encourages operators to sign up to them.

The AML package now awaits formal adoption by the Council of the EU, expected in May, before being published in the EU’s Official Journal.

“We welcome the European Parliament’s approval of the new anti-money laundering package. The new framework will set high standards and ensure greater consistency in the application of AML rules across the EU. Online gambling operators, especially those operating in multiple countries, will benefit from a single rulebook and harmonised reporting requirements that will unravel national complexities. We will look to review our industry guidelines on AML to ensure their alignment with the new EU rules. By signing up to the guidelines, operators can already prepare themselves for the incoming changes in the EU rules and join our members in their efforts to proactively and positively contribute to the EU’s fight against money laundering.” – Dr. Ekaterina Hartmann, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, EGBA.

 

Source: EGBA

Compliance Updates

eGaming Integrity Launches to Enhance Compliance for OGRA Licence Holders and CSPs

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We proudly announce the official launch of eGaming Integrity, a specialised compliance services provider exclusively dedicated to protecting OGRA licence holders and the CSPs that support them.

Our mission is to enable online gambling operators, and the CSPs that support them, with the tools they need to thrive in the Isle of Man, ensuring integrity, transparency, and adherence to industry standards.

The Isle of Man eGaming sector continues to grow at a rapid pace, with the number of OGRA licensees more than doubling in recent years. With the sector having grown so quickly, it has led to a shortage of highly qualified, well trained, and egaming experienced compliance and AML professionals locally. This skills shortage presents a significant challenge for online gambling operators licensed here.

With our team of industry experts and former regulators, eGaming Integrity enables businesses to remain compliant with the stringent regulatory requirements under the Isle of Man licence through our tailored services which include mock audits, remediation, and internal audits.

Speaking about the requirement for such services, Emma Shilling, eGaming Integrity director said “licensed online gambling operators and local Corporate Service Providers have been looking for a credible provider to offer specialist services beyond day-to-day compliance. We’ve already helped several CSPs navigate the sector in previous roles, where eGaming isn’t always the primary area of expertise so businesses have sought our experience and industry knowledge to help them service their clients more effectively.”

Fellow director, Nick Bowden added “our in-depth evaluations prepare operators for regulatory visits, remediation support to bring businesses back into good standing with the regulator, and independent assurance makes sure risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively.

eGaming Integrity are now working with a number of OGRA licence holders and local CSPs, providing customised compliance and regulatory advisory services that align with business objectives and operational intricacies.

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Australia

Australia Enforces Credit Card Ban for Online Gambling

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Australia has enforced an online gambling credit card ban, meaning that players can no longer use them as a payment method.

Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) and its members have been strong supporters of this measure and have worked with the Commonwealth Government and the financial services industry since 2021 to deliver this credit card ban.

Responsible Wagering Australia CEO Kai Cantwell said that this change was much needed, as Australians should only be gambling with money that they have.

“This is an important measure to protect customers, making it easier for people to stay in control of their own gambling behaviour,” Mr Cantwell said.

“It will complement the existing offering of safer gambling account management tools by RWA members.

“RWA and its members support the extension of this measure to all forms of gambling that have been exempted from the ban such as lotteries and keno.

“If consumer protection measures aren’t consistent across all forms of gambling it will incentivise vulnerable Australians to move to less-regulated types of gambling, where they are more at risk of harm.”

RWA members provide a range of tools to ensure people can gamble safely, many of which have been adopted by the Commonwealth Government as part of the National Consumer Protection Framework (NCPF).

“The NCPF is expected to be evaluated shortly and we look forward to engaging in this process to ensure that consumer protection tools are fit-for-purpose and support a safe and sustainable regulated gambling environment,” Mr Cantwell said.

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Compliance Updates

Ukraine Regulator KRAIL Blocks 371 Illegal Gambling Sites

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The Ukrainian Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL) has announced that it has blocked 371 unlicensed gambling websites. It said joint action with the security service led to the issue of Order No. 451/2256, which instructs service providers to block the domains using Domain Name System (DNS) servers.

KRAIL said that during April and May it issued 1000 orders to limit access to domain names and subdomains.

While KRAIL remains operational, Ukraine’s parliament voted in April to disband the regulator. There had been criticism of the regulator’s collegial structure, which requires at least five of its six members to be present for meetings to be valid. Amid disruption caused by military service following the Russian invasion, this has often led to meetings being cancelled and long delays for licence applications.

There will be a second reading of the bill before it can be signed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The liquidation of KRAIL would put gambling regulation under the digital transformation ministry until a new regulator is established.

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