money / money laundering / pexels

Following a European Commission proposal for two anti-money laundering (AML) regulations and a revision of the current EU AML Directive launched on Wednesday, the European Gambling and Betting Association (EGBA) has come out in support and reaffirmed its commitment to work with all relevant bodies.

“The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) welcomes the proposals and reaffirms its commitment to work with all relevant regulatory bodies, including the European Commission, to combat money laundering in the EU.”

The EU Commission’s proposal includes the creation of a new supranational authority to fight money laundering specifically and is overall aimed at improving the detection of suspicious transactions and activities, and to close loopholes used by criminals to launder illicit proceeds or finance terrorist activities through the financial system.

The package consists of four legislative proposals in total, which can be viewed here.

In a statement by the EGBA, it said the Commission’s proposals follow concern and criticism in recent years that some EU member states have not sufficiently implemented and enforced the EU’s current AML rulebook.

While the proposed regulations are primarily aimed at financial services, some of the horizontal changes proposed are also expected to affect Europe’s online gambling sector, including rules on beneficial ownership, customer due diligence and the establishment of a new EU AML authority.

The legislative package will now go through the EU legislative process and will be sent to the European Parliament and Council for discussion and ultimately approval, which might take upwards of 18 months. Once approved, the regulations will immediately enter into force in all EU member states and the Directive will need to be transposed into national regulation by EU member states.

EGBA said it will analyse the future implications of the proposed changes for the AML compliance requirements of Europe’s online gambling sector. To ensure the best possible application of the EU’s AML rulebook, EGBA is preparing a set of sector-specific guidelines for Europe’s online gambling companies. The guidelines will be published later in 2021.

“We welcome the efforts of the European Commission to continuously improve the EU framework for combatting 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”, says Ekaterina Hartmann, EGBA Director.

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