UKGC confirms updated AML regulations to be enforced in January

Gaming payments
Gaming payments

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has confirmed updates to its Money Laundering Regulations, which will oversee the implementation of the EU 5th Money Laundering Directive will be enforced on 10 January 2020.

Alongside the EU 5th Money Laundering Directive, the UKGC will also detail the 5th edition of its guidance for casinos on ‘The prevention of money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism’, which will come into force immediately upon publication.

As part of the alterations to the AML requirements, casino operators licensed by the UKGC will be required to continue carrying out business reviews ‘and accordingly amending, their money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessments, as well as the associated policies, procedures and controls’.

Licensing expert David Clifton underlined the potential impact of the impending regulations, emphasising: “It would have been helpful if the Commission had published its updated guidance in advance of the changes coming into force, but all affected operators must act immediately to ensure that their risk assessments and AML/CTF policies, procedures and controls are updated accordingly. 

“They will note from the above that whilst the Commission recognises (and will take into account) that it takes time to implement changes, it nevertheless expects them to:

  • invest appropriately (if technology is required to accommodate the changes) and
  • implement the required changes “with the requisite urgency”.

Issuing a statement on its website, 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.”

Under the new directive, all land-based and remote casino operators must invest appropriately in technology which will mitigate the risk of money laundering.

In addition to this, casinos must implement ‘further 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.

As well as customers who are beneficiaries of life insurance policies or the customer is a third country national who has received citizenship in an EEA state in exchange for the transfer of capital, purchase of property, government bonds or investment in corporate entities in the EEA state.’

In a previous interview with PaymentExpert, Zac Cohen, general manager at verification specialists Trulioo highlighted that regulations within the sector will continue to evolve, stating: “If 5AMLD was about expanding the scope of operators’ obligations in countering money laundering, 6AMLD provides the detailed definition of these requirements. 

“As is often the case, regulators cast the net wide in order to tackle emerging money laundering activities but are now clarifying and refining the rules in order to make them more effective and practical.

“6AMLD is highly significant for a number of reasons, namely due to the fact it provides context around the newest forms of money laundering which are emerging within an increasingly digital-driven global economy, particularly within gambling.”