Online gambling operators should be alert to the amendments relative to the fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive that will be discussed at the European Parliament over the next couple of months, Steve Cook, business development director for Facebanx, has told iGaming Business.
The fourth AML Directive will impose stricter know-your-customer (KYC) and client due diligence (CDD) requirements on iGaming operators and will look to address issues such as the role played by shell companies and trusts in concealing money laundering and the identities of corrupt individuals or businesses involved in illegal or criminal activities. Guidelines from the fourth AML Directive show that online gambling operators would have to know much more about their customers and require them to carry out client or enhanced due diligence (EDD) for single transactions of €2000 or more – whether these are wagers, winnings, deposits or withdrawals.
Cook said, “What this will likely mean for the online gambling industry is that far stricter KYC and AML procedures will have to be implemented by licensed operators and overseen by the regulators, including those that are licensed in remote gambling jurisdictions. The implications are far-reaching, as a tightening up of the rules and more stringent methods will need to be in place, particularly in regard to high-value transactions and withdrawals. Therefore both gambling and sports betting operators need to be acutely aware that the fourth AML Directive’s new measures are on the horizon.”
The Directive will likely come into force within the next 12-18 months if the EU Parliament debates produce a consensus, with some industry experts believing it could be much sooner and the UK would likely be the first to implement it.
Barbara Friedrich, the German Ministry of Finance for AML/CFT prevention and payment systems, will be chairing a debate on the implications of the fourth AML Directive during next week’s International Casino Exhibition (ICE) at London’s Excel on Wednesday 5 February at 09:55am.