HooYu shows gaming compliance managers are braced for elevated risk

KYC and customer onboarding specialist HooYu has revealed in its survey results of gaming compliance managers that the industry is well-positioned to combat the increased risk of financial crime due to COVID-19.

Interacting with more than 30 gaming operators, the firm developed a heightened understanding of the risk and how the gambling sector is seeking to overcome it. 

David Pope, Marketing Director at HooYu, commented: “The fines levied on operators may make the headlines but what never gets reported is the work that egaming compliance managers do to perform KYC.  

“From work with our clients we see operators not only understanding the money laundering risks but also transitioning from Know Your Customer to a culture of Understand Your Customer.” 

It comes after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) underlined warnings in June that the current health pandemic is leading to elevated risks for fraudsters and money launderers.  

The FATF cited factors such as an increase in remote consumption of digital services; changes in financial behaviours; widespread remote working; increased levels of phishing; and greater financial stress that regulated entities need to analyse and counter.

HooYu partnered with the Malta Gaming Authority and AML compliance training experts AMLGS to deliver a webinar on the financial crime threats identified by the FATF. 

Compliance teams can access the on-demand version here

Joseph Attard, Head of Compliance and MLRO at the Malta Gaming Authority, who also presented on the webinar said: “The FATF has asked both regulators and regulated entities to move fast to understand the financial crime risk posed by COVID-19.  

“I’m glad to say that the Malta Gaming Authority has responded quickly, and we are hosting a webinar on June 26 to share our research into emerging ML/TF threats and typologies in the wake of Covid-19.”

During the webinar, over 30 operators shared their insight and were polled to understand their readiness as to how Covid-19 attacks the anti-money laundering regime. 88% of respondents agreed that Covid-19 presents an increased risk of money laundering and financial crime across regulated sectors.

When polled, 93% of respondents replied that they expected to see an increase in fraud and chargebacks following COVID-19.            

Several other issues were explored during the webinar, including how operators were also working to understand how increased financial stress is impacting customer affordability.

Ray Wilson, Director at AMLGS added: “We’ve seen gaming operators build new models and new processes quickly to identify and respond to the threat of Covid-19.  It’s positive to see that last week’s webinar revealed that 71% of compliance managers will be taking forward new best practices they have developed to respond to emergent threats such as COVID-19.”