Online gambling trade organisation the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) is “disappointed” at the European Parliament’s decision to single out internet gambling in a new Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD).
The European Parliament recently announced that it would adopt amendments to the European Commission’s proposal for a new AMLD.
While the RGA said it “strongly supports” the objectives of the Directive, it is disappointed that online gambling has been identify as the one form of gambling where due diligence measures might have to be applied to all customers as soon as a business relationship is established.
The association said this approach runs “completely counter” to the risk-based strategy that has been a key principle of successive AMLDs.
The vote by the European Parliament would require online gambling operators to conduct due diligence as of the establishment of the business relationship with customers.
The RGA said this would conflict with the “spirit” of the European Commission’s proposal and previous Directives, and could mean the online gambling industry would be compelled to conduct due diligence on every customer.
However, the vote is not the final decision as the EU Council may reject the positions of the European Parliament. A second reading and further negotiations are expected to take place after the European elections.
Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the RGA, said: “It is very difficult to see how an objective review of the facts, including the success of the third AMLD in combating money laundering, could have led Parliament to this conclusion.
“The licensed online gambling sector has highly developed tools for identifying possible threats and has an excellent record in preventing money laundering.
“As an industry we are never complacent, but quite simply there is no justification for singling out our sector for this kind of treatment.
“We have consistently supported a risk-based approach, which we consider to be the most suitable manner to tackle any problems and, of course, individual member states can introduce additional measures if there are specific issues within their jurisdictions.
“We hope now that the EU Council will reject the Parliament’s position on this issue and that the European Commission will defend its original stance.”
source : www.igamingbusiness.com