The UK Gambling Commission is cracking down on money laundering.
This morning, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) announced that it will implement new Money Laundering Regulations on 10 January 2020.
The updated Money Laundering regulations include the implementation of the EU’s 5th Money Laundering Directive. Alongside this, the regulator will publish the fifth edition of its guidance for remote and non-remote casinos on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The new regulations
The changes made to the Money Laundering Regulations will include the introduction of regulation 19 which requires all licensed operators to ensure the appropriate measures are in place to prevent money laundering when a new product is launched. Regulation 19 also requires land-based and online casinos to make sure they have specific policies, procedures and controls in place for money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Under regulation 24, agents working with casinos must be given the appropriate level of training in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing. Regulation 28 includes measures for further direction in regard to what kind of information can be considered as “obtained from a reliable source which is independent of the person whose identity is being verified.”
Operators should also be aware of regulation 33 which outlines requirements for enhanced customer due diligence measures for “high-risk third countries, complex or unusually large transactions, and where there are unusual patterns of transactions, or the transactions have no apparent economic or legal purpose.” This will also extend to customers that are third country nationals who have received EEA citizenship in exchange for the transfer of money, purchase of property, government bonds or investment in businesses in the EEA state.
In a statement, the UKGC said: “The Commission recognises that it takes time to implement changes and we will take that into account, but we expect to see that operators have acted promptly, invested appropriately (if technology is required to accommodate the changes) and implemented changes with the requisite urgency.
“Additionally, publication of the updated guidance on 10 January 2020 must result in casino businesses reviewing, and accordingly amending, their money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessments, as well as the associated policies, procedures and controls.”