The European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) has confirmed the development of new guidelines to support online gambling companies compliance with the European Union’s new anti-money laundering rulebook.  

The directive comes after the European Commission (EC) was granted approval to update the EU’s financial regulations, standards and safeguards set by the EU AML Directive.

In what’s described as its ‘most ambitious package of measures’ the EC has urged the creation of a centralised ‘EU Authority’ to bolster the battle against money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (CTF).

The Commission’s actions follow concerns that some EU member states have fallen short of implementing and enforcing EU AML Directive laws – which will require the EC to ‘close loopholes used by criminals to launder illicit proceeds or finance terrorist activities. 

 “Money laundering poses a clear and present threat to citizens, democratic institutions, and the financial system,” said Mairead McGuinness, Commissioner responsible for financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union.

“The scale of the problem cannot be underestimated and the loopholes that criminals can exploit need to be closed. Today’s package significantly ramps up our efforts to stop dirty money being washed through the financial system. We are increasing coordination and cooperation between authorities in member states, and creating a new EU AML authority. These measures will help us protect the integrity of the financial system and the single market.”

Key objectives planned by the EC include the enforcement of a ‘single EU AML/CTF rulebook’ that will be adopted by member states’ financial intelligence units (FIUs) with the aim to harmonise standards.

On cash payments, the EC has proposed that a €10,000 limit on transactions be imposed across all member states as EU-wide enforcement.

A new AML directive will impose tougher monitoring of financial transactions undertaken between member states and third countries – in which the EU will adopt a new ‘black-list’ and ‘grey-list’ of countries.

Ekaterina Hartmann, Director, EGBA, commented: “We welcome the efforts of the European Commission to continuously improve the EU framework for combating money-laundering. 

“EGBA members already apply the highest regulatory standards in AML compliance and are fully committed to tackling money laundering in the online gambling sector. To support this, we are working closely with our members to develop EU-wide, sector-specific guidelines to help Europe’s online gambling companies comply with the increasingly complex AML rules in the EU.”