EGBA supports creation of new European AML rules

The European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA) is set to develop industry-specific guidelines to help online gambling companies comply with the European Union’s (EU) new anti-money laundering (AML) rule book.

The announcement from the EGBA comes after the European Commission (EC) proposed several AML reforms to the EU.

New AML reforms for Europe

The new set of reforms include the creation of a new EU Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA). 

This new body will act as the central European body responsible for coordinating national AML bodies and Financial Intelligence Units (FIU) to ensure businesses in each member state comply with the EU’s money-laundering rules.

This will be achieved through the creation of a single system to supervise all AML and counter-terrorism financing in Europe.

The reforms also include a framework for more detailed rules on customer due diligence, beneficial ownership, and the powers and task of supervisors and national-level FIUs.

Furthermore, the new AMLA will directly oversee “some of the riskiest financial institutions that operate in a large number of member states or require immediate action to address imminent risks.”

In addition to the creation of a new body, the reforms include the creation of a blacklist and grey list for countries with higher money laundering risks, with countries on those lists set to match those of the Financial Action Task Force.

Additionally, a €10,000 limit will be implemented for cash payments. According to the EC, similar rules already exist in two-thirds of member states, but this should be brought in for all member states.

The last of the new reforms will ensure that European money laundering laws apply to cryptocurrency assets, rather than just certain categories.

The proposed reforms will now be considered by the European President and Council and if they are approved, the AMLA is set to be operational in 2024.

Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice-president of the EU committee For an Economy that Works for People said: “Every fresh money laundering scandal is one scandal too many – and a wake-up call that our work to close the gaps in our financial system is not yet done.

“We have made huge strides in recent years and our EU AML rules are now among the toughest in the world. But they now need to be applied consistently and closely supervised to make sure they really bite. This is why we are today taking these bold steps to close the door on money laundering and stop criminals from lining their pockets with ill-gotten gains.”

EGBA to help create guidelines

The EGBA has thrown its support behind the proposed reforms to AML in Europe’s member states.

The EGBA will also analyse and evaluate the proposed reforms to see how they can best be applied to companies in the online gambling space.

Ekaterina Hartmann, Director of the EGBA said: “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.”