European Gaming and Betting Association Debuts Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) continues to make strides in voluntarily assisting the gaming industry to evolve. Its latest initiative pulls together resources that it hopes will help operators fine-tune their financial activity.

European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The European Gaming and Betting Association is developing new measures to help the EU’s gaming industry continue to evolve responsibly. (Image; Reuters)

These resources include EGBA’s first pan-European self-regulatory guidelines. They are intended to help European online gambling operators to be proactive in meeting responsible gambling expectations.

The guidelines will also support the industry’s contributions to global anti-money laundering (AML) policies. Recent events have emphasized the importance of focusing on money laundering in gambling, and the EGBA hopes its members respond accordingly.

Cleaning Up the Gambling Space

The EGBA’s AML and combating the financing of terrorism (CTF) guidelines include the industry’s published best practices. Online gambling operators must already follow these in all of their operations within the EU and the EEA. However, that isn’t always the case.

These policies are risk-based and provide sector-specific guidance to ensure compliance with AML regulations at all levels, according to the EGBA. They can complement and strengthen existing laws on this subject in different countries, but also take into consideration the new EU measures package.

EGBA wants to hear from industry insiders about its initiative. It’s looking for feedback from operators and others to make sure its efforts cover all the pertinent details. It will receive feedback from now until October 13 and then publish its final guidelines shortly thereafter.

Among the highlighted items the EGBA is addressing are customer and business risk assessments. There are also sections on due diligence and policies pertaining to the reporting of suspicious transactions. The latter has been a particular sore spot with regulators throughout Europe.

Going forward, to ensure the guidelines are effective, EGBA members like Bet365, Flutter, and others must submit an annual report to the EGBA. This should describe their progress in implementing the guidelines and provide any feedback or concerns.

Another important area is AM and how it pertains to providing a safer gambling environment. This will likely receive significant coverage in the EGBA’s final product.

The EGBA expects to have to make changes going forward. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, the arrival of new rules and policies will lead to updates to the guidelines.

EU Cracks Down on Money Laundering

The EU’s European Commission spent the past several years discussing how to better address money laundering. It wants a unified solution that makes it easier for EU and EEA countries to follow.

Technology has helped regulators better understand the nature of money laundering, with more tracking capabilities following the trails. The problem exists in all industries, including gambling and banking. Wirecard and Deutsche Bank have had to answer for their alleged money fraud on several occasions.

Last year, the EU implemented a new set of rules that will heighten its AML/CFT policies. The Single EU Rulebook for AML/CFT includes a new union-wide authority to combat money laundering, as well as even stricter reporting criteria. It also connects banks across the union in an effort to streamline reporting.

The new EU-level guidelines are going to be rolled out over the next several years.

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