EGBA publishes Pan-European anti-money laundering guidelines
The European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) has published its first pan-European guidelines to prevent money laundering that remains one of the top priorities for regulators in the global gaming ecosystem.
The EGBA, which represents the European Union’s gaming industry, is increasing its anti-money laundering (AML) oversight as part of its commitment to promote the industry’s highest level of accountability.
According to a statement released by the watchdog, the new framework has been reviewed by region’s leading AML compliance experts, and it is based on the latest technology and most up-to-date legislation.
The new AML protocols include industry-specific, practical guidance on how online gambling operators should conduct risk assessments of their businesses as well as customers. The new protocols also cover due diligence processes, reporting of suspicious transactions, and maintenance of records. A section of the new guidelines also suggests how EGBA members also need to stick to counter-terrorist financing (CTF) obligations. It is worth-mentioning here that a big chunk of the laundered money is used to support terrorism in various parts of the world.
Dr. Ekaterina Hartmann, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs at EGBA, said in the newly released statement that the publication of new AML guidelines would help in ensuring European online gambling sector’s active contribution towards the fight against financial crimes like money laundering.
Speaking on the topic, Dr. Hartmann further added, “There’s currently a lack of sector-specific guidance to help Europe’s online gambling operators in their AML compliance efforts and these guidelines provide a valuable tool to fill this gap and help operators achieve the highest possible standards.”
For gaming operators across the EU to stick to different rules, including the upcoming EU AML legislation, the new guidelines must be implemented with a risk-based approach to make sure that the industry gets aligned with different regulations.
Several members of EGBA, which is regularly involved in shaping AML policies for the EU region, are playing active roles in various anti-money laundering forums, some of which are being led by the European Commission and the Financial Action Task Force.
Financial and gambling regulators in Europe, with the voluntary support of operators, conducted nearly three dozen AML audits of gaming activities in 2021. They detected nearly 13,000 suspicious activities, which were reported to law enforcement agencies to help fight back the growing problem of money laundering.