The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has said it believes the European Commission’s proposed new anti-money laundering (AML) framework will lead to more consistency across the bloc.
Belgium.- The online gaming body the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has submitted its response to a European Commission consultation on a new anti-money framework that would create a centralised EU Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA) to coordinate AML and financial intelligence units across member states.
It will enforce a €10,000 limit for cash payments in the EU and will create black and grey lists to identify countries with higher money laundering risks. AML controls will also be expanded to cover the crypto sector.
The EGBA was quick to welcome the proposals when the European Commission published them in July. The proposals will now be discussed by the European Parliament and Council following the end of the consultation period.
Welcoming the proposals in its response, the EGBA said: “EGBA welcomes the new proposal in a form of a Regulation, instead of a Directive, since we believe that more binding and directly enforceable rules will contribute to a unified, strengthened, and predictable legal framework.
“EGBA considers that the divergence in the application of the 4th AMLD across the EU has been very wide and detrimental to a consistent application of the EU AML Framework. It has led to a lot of unnecessary gold-plating as well as huge compliance and administrative costs for the sector.
“EGBA welcomes the approach of the Commission to gambling. The existing thresholds are reasonable and strict, but they need to be applied in a consistent manner, which a Regulation will bring. We also welcome the strengthening of the rules for granting exemptions by Member States to prevent abuses.
“Member States need to conduct a much more thorough and reasoned assessment before an exception is granted to ensure the system works without gambling sectors being unduly exempted simply because of national lobbying.”
A call for sector-specific guidance for gaming
However, the EGBA also called for sector-specific guidance for gaming.
It said: “The EGBA is looking forward to more guidance from proposed EU AML authority (AMLA), such as on customer due diligence measures, enhanced due diligence and even customer risk assessment, which will be very valuable (especially from the perspective of conflicting nature of AML and Data Protection regulations).
“EGBA has also been calling for the introduction of sector-specific Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) forms for many years (among others), which may be best achieved by organising work within AMLA via an industry-specific structure with clusters.
“It is also important that the tasks of the centralised authority and the national authorities are clearly divided as to prevent potential duplication of reporting and higher administrative and compliance costs.”
It added: “Finally, it is also of paramount importance to ensure AML rules do not conflict with other rules, such as those of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and that obliged entities should not have to undertake functions not within the framework of their business relationship.”