Lithuania announces new rules for gaming operators

A government risk assessment had signalled the industry as vulnerable to money laundering.
A government risk assessment had signalled the industry as vulnerable to money laundering.

The Gambling Supervision Service has drawn up know-your-customer guidelines in a bid to tighten up on the risk of money laundering.

Lithuania.- New know-your-customer guidelines for gaming operators have been announced after the sector was identified as a risk for money laundering.

The Ministry of Finance’s Gambling Supervision Service said the guidelines outline the factors that gambling and lottery companies should take into account when assessing relationships and transactions to reduce the risk of involvement in money laundering and terrorist financing.

Operators must check all registrations to inspect whether a client is politically vulnerable or resident in a country deemed high-risk by the European Commission. 

Enhanced customer identification will be required for customers identified as such and to verify the source of assets and funds based on reliable data from independent sources such as public data registers. 

All customers must now be divided into risk categories according to criteria such as the size of monetary transactions conducted, services purchased, past suspicious transactions, attempts to present a non-identity document and actions to avoid registration or identification of transactions.

The guidelines state: “The company should try to get as much information as possible from the client. Such information should be collected prudently and efforts should be made to verify the information provided by the client.

“All information provided by the client must be confidential and carefully protected in accordance with the law and the company’s procedures.”

The guidelines aim to bring the gambling sector into compliance with the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act after a government risk assessment found that the Gambling Supervisory Authority was ill-equipped to deal with the threat of money laundering through casinos.

The assessment identified land-based casinos as a “very high risk” and remote gaming as a “high risk” for money laundering.

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Lithuania regulation safer gambling