The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) showed support for the recently released proposal for an update on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules by the European Commission (EC). The new rules may affect the EU gambling sector, but before coming into effect, they need to receive approval from the European Parliament and Council.
EC Proposes New AML, CFT Rules
The EC presented on Tuesday a new ambitious package of proposals aiming at improving the rules on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing in the EU. Besides updating the AML/CFT rules, the EC proposed the creation of a new authority to fight against money laundering in the EU.
The proposal aims at better protecting EU citizens, as well as the EU financial system from terrorism financing and money laundering. The Commission plans to better track suspicious activities, as well as “close loopholes used by criminals to launder illicit proceeds or finance terrorist activities through the financial system.”
With the help of technological innovations, the new rules plan on expanding greatly the existing EU framework. Furthermore, the improved efforts for fighting against terrorism financing and money laundering coincide with the EU’s Security Union Strategy for 2020-2025. The strategy aims at helping protect European citizens from organized crime and acts of terrorism.
EGBA Supports the New Rules
Once the EC announced the reinforced AML rules, the EGBA announced that it welcomes the proposals. Furthermore, in a Tuesday statement, EGBA said that it will continue its collaboration with all regulatory bodies as well as the EC and continue fighting against money laundering in the EU.
Although the reinforced rules focus on financial services, there may be changes to the gambling sector in the EU. According to EGBA, such rules may affect “beneficial ownership, customer due diligence and the establishment of a new EU AML authority.“
EGBA vowed to analyze the proposed changes to the AML rules related to Europe’s online gambling activities. The Association said that it will prepare guidelines that are specific for EU gambling operators and help ensure compliance with the new AML rules.
Approval of the New Rules May Take Some Time
Commenting on the subject, EGBA director Ekaterina Hartmann acknowledged that the EC is striving to improve the EU framework against money laundering. She said that EGBA members already enforce the highest regulatory standard when it comes to AML compliance. Hartmann also emphasized that the EGBA remains “fully committed to tackling money laundering in the online gambling sector.“
“We welcome the efforts of the European Commission to continuously improve the EU framework for combatting money-laundering.”Ekaterina Hartmann, director, EGBA
The newly proposed rules are now heading to the European Parliament and Council. After further discussion, the proposal may take up to 18 months to receive approval. Once the updated rules are approved, they are going to enter into effect immediately for all EU members.