EGBA welcomes new EU cross-border AML regulator

The European Commission’s decision to set up an EU-wide AML regulator has been welcomed by the continental gambling industry trade body, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).

Shortly after the EC’s announcement that the German city of Frankfurt would host the new regulator, the gambling trade body has welcomed the news as a positive development driving forward progress in line with the EU’s AML commitments.

The Authority for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorist Financing (AMLA) will commence operations in 2025 with a staff headcount of 400. It will have direct and indirect supervisory powers over organisations such as financial institutions and the ability to intervene in cross-border cases.

Additionally, the AMLA will also work with the various national AML authorities of the EU’s member states and publish guidelines on AML rules and application. This will see the creation of a reporting template for Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs), something EGBA believes could ‘greatly benefit’ Europe’s gambling sector.

Dr. Ekaterina Hartmann, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, EGBA, said: “We welcome Frankfurt as the chosen seat of the new European Anti-Money Laundering Authority. Given the city’s position as the centre of European finance, it is a logical choice. 

“We look forward to collaborating with AMLA to ensure the representation of the gambling sector’s voice in future EU-level AML discussions and help contribute positively to the fight against money laundering. 

“The standardisation of STRs will really benefit gambling operators, particularly those who operate in many countries, because there are currently many different reporting formats across EU member states.”

The EU has been pursuing reform of its AML since 2021 when a package of legislative proposals was pushed through the European Parliament in July of that year. The finalisation and agreement of these reforms across the EU’s 27 member states is anticipated by 2024.

Moving forward, EGBA outlined that it plans to update its own AML guidelines – also in line with EU AML regulation – and that its members will engage in ‘regular discussions’ on the implementation of said guidelines.

Its operator members will also submit annual reports to the trade association summarising progress, with reporting also serving the purpose of identifying and addressing potential areas for improvement. Non-EGBA member operators have also been invited to adopt the guidelines.

Dr Hartmann concluded: “By implementing our AML guidelines, operators can also already be well positioned for the EU’s incoming AML rules and play their part in raising standards across the industry.”