Malta’s FIAU warns over quality of AML data from igaming operators

Inadequate customer risk assessments were the most frequent breach of AML rules.
Inadequate customer risk assessments were the most frequent breach of AML rules.

The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) has warned that Malta’s igaming operators are not collecting enough AML data.

Malta.- The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) has warned that igaming operators are not collecting enough data in anti-money laundering (AML) checks.

The watchdog reported that the data collected on high-risk players by many remote operators was of “no value” for carrying out (AML) checks.

It said several investigations into remote gaming operators had found they often gathered details of no value to building a customer’s profile, for example, simply reporting that a customer was employed rather than providing details.

The FIAU said one operator was found not to have implemented “any form of enhanced due diligence”, in spite of the fact that it had customers from high-risk countries, including many that placed big bets at low odds.

It found that another operator failed to implement the policies set out in its own “quite robust” AML procedures manual, including failing to carry out mandatory checks on players who spent over €2,000.

The FIAU said the most common breaches of AML rules in non-financial sectors, including gaming, were inadequate customer risk assessments which accounted for 11.6 per cent of breaches.

The second most common breach was a failure to check if a player is a politically exposed person.

See also: Malta igaming companies call for action to protect industry reputation

In an enforcement factsheet, the FIAU said Malta had seen an increase in suspicious transaction reports connected to money laundering across all sectors, up from 1,668 in 2018 to 5,090 in 2020. It said that gaming and banking were the two largest contributors.

See also: Malta Gaming Authority appoints Ryan Pace as chairman

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