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EGBA: EC regulations will ensure a uniform application of AML Standards

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According to the European Gaming and Betting Association, the new framework for anti-money laundering by the European Commission will provide a robust and uniform system across Europe.

The European Commission began a consultation in July of this year on legislative proposals to improve the AML framework for the European Union (EU). The European Commission will establish a new EU Anti-Money Laundering Authority as a centralised organisation that coordinates AML and Financial Intelligence Units across all EU member states.

The EU is imposing a limit of EUR10,000 for payments made in cash. Existing AML controls are also being extended to crypto assets.

In response to the consultation, EGBA stated that the use of a regulation rather than a directive will ensure new controls are legally binding and enforceable. It would create a more “unified, stronger, and predictable” legal framework.

Association also welcomed the inclusion of gambling in the proposal. The association said while the existing AML controls and gambling regulations were strict and reasonable, it would be better to have a standard framework that ensures they are consistently applied.

The EGBA said it would support these controls by introducing first pan-European Guidelines for combating money laundering in online gambling.

It said that sector-specific guidance is still missing and recommended strengthening it, especially for reporting suspicious transactions (STR). The EGBA has called for industry-specific STRs for some time, and believes that AMLA will help achieve this goal.

EGBA said that roles between AMLA and the national authorities must be clearly defined to avoid duplication of reporting. This could in turn reduce compliance and administrative costs.

EGBA, meanwhile, welcomed new rules that are “horizontal”, saying they could be beneficial to the entire market.

In this regard, EGBA stated that the implementation of uniform rules across Europe and the interpretation of them will lead to greater clarity in the identification and analysis of suspicious transactions.

It highlighted several factors that should be taken into consideration in order to properly apply these new CDD regulations. The report said that the EU regulations must be applied in non-EU nations where there may be subsidiaries of companies. This is to prevent conflicts with laws from third countries.

It also said that the gaming industry found it difficult to create a risk profile for business relationships early on. It was also noted that the gambling industry did not need to profile risk because the purpose and nature were self-evident.

EGBA concluded by saying that it is “of paramount importance”, to make sure AML regulations do not clash with other laws, such as EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). It added that the law does not allow entities covered by it to perform functions beyond the scope of the business relationship.

Before deciding on which of the proposals it will implement, the Commission and the European Parliament or Council will discuss the package.

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