EGBA believes incoming EU AML rules will benefit online operators

Image: Shutterstock

The European Gaming and Betting Association has welcomed the finalisation of the European Union’s new anti-money laundering framework, as the organisation believes the standardised rules and reporting requirements will benefit online gambling operators.

Approved by the European Parliament in April and by the European Council earlier this week, the final step of the EU legislative process, the AML package includes the establishment of the European Anti-Money Laundering Authority, the sixth AML Directive and a new AML regulation.

Based in Frankfurt, the AMLA will have “direct and indirect supervisory powers to ensure compliance with AML requirements, working in tandem with national AML authorities” and will also be “responsible for a large amount of technical and implementing rules that will directly apply to the online gambling sector”.

The sixth AML Directive will contain “national provisions on supervision and the powers of national AML authorities, including their access to requisite and reliable information such as beneficial ownership registers”.

As for the new AML regulation, it will include “requirements for conducting due diligence, transparency of beneficial owners and much more, directing practitioners through the whole AML process for obliged entities” in addition to setting “a limit of €2000 for conducting due diligence on players for online gambling operators”.

The new AML package will also see the creation of a “harmonised reporting format” for Suspicious Transaction Reports. Overseen by AMLA, online operators will now find the same STR requirements across all EU member states, reducing administrative burdens and costs.

Dr Ekaterina Hartmann, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs at the EGBA, commented: “We welcome the finalisation of the new anti-money laundering package. 

“EGBA has actively followed and contributed to the revision of the AML rules at EU-level and believes the new rules will benefit Europe’s online gambling operators, especially those operating in multiple jurisdictions, by ensuring a single regulatory approach across EU member states.”

Industry-specific guidelines have been developed by the EGBA to assist online gambling operators on AML. These guidelines “apply a risk-based approach and include practical measures” to help operators with AML compliance in the EU. 

While EGBA members already apply the guidelines and submit annual reports and summaries about their progress in implementing its measures to the association, the guidelines are also open to all EU-based operators.

The guidelines also take into account the European Commission’s original AMLR proposal and will be updated to match the final versions of the EU legislation.

The new AML regulation will come into force three years after it is published in the Official Journal of the EU, the next step in the process.

Hartmann continued: “With the finalisation of the new rules, EGBA will review and update its industry guidelines on AML to ensure their alignment with the rules. 

“By signing up to the guidelines, operators can begin preparing themselves for the EU rule changes and join our members in their efforts to proactively and positively contribute to the fight against money laundering in the EU.”