26 May 2023
The importance of anti-money laundering regulation to ensure confidence in the financial sector is well understood. However, there are occasions where they can make the provision of vital humanitarian services more difficult especially in certain countries. When banks ‘de-risk’ it can impact the vulnerable.
The UK and EU continue to examine how a digital version of the Pound and Euro could work. We have the latest on the consultations happening and where they may lead.
Our coverage of gaming and gambling this week discusses the need for KYC in online betting sites and the work the Gambling Commission is doing on its development plan – including how it intends to address illegal gambling and crime.
To complete this week’s Roundup, we provide you with further money laundering, fraud, corruption and bribery updates from around the world, the latest on gaming and gambling regulation, news from the crypto and virtual assets sector and what’s new in global sanctions after last week’s G7 meeting in Hiroshima.
Money Laundering, Fraud, & Corruption
Fear of money laundering and counter-terror hindering delivery of aid for humanitarian groups
NGOs and charities are finding it difficult to operate in certain territories due to money restrictions imposed by their banks. Humanitarian groups work in countries subject to sometimes vague and opaque financial crime regulations which can lead to lengthy compliance checks or even a refusal of banking services.
The UK Gambling Commission agrees settlement with online gaming operator over anti-money laundering and social responsibility failures
SkillonNet has agreed to pay more than £300,000 in lieu of a financial penalty relating to breaches of the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP).
Owner of League One Fleetwood Town guilty of fraud and money laundering
Andrew Pilley, owner of football club Fleetwood Town has been found guilty of fraud and money laundering. He was found to have mis-sold energy contracts and posted fake customer comments on website. The club have been keen to stress that the charges do not relate to the football club and its future is unaffected.
Legislation, Reports, Analyses, & Opinions
UK Government looking at progress on digital currencies
The UK Government and the Bank of England are currently looking at what a digital pound would mean for the future of money. The Treasury has initiated a four-month consultation that ends next month in which it is assessing how a retail central bank digital currency (CDBC) would work. The European Central Bank is also expected to decide soon whether to continue its work on a European CBDC.
UK and EU sign memorandum of understanding on financial cooperation
Post Brexit, there’s the potential for the regulatory environments in the UK and EU to diverge. Based on ‘shared objectives’ the UK and EU are working to enhance cooperation in financial regulation.
Gaming and Gambling
Why KYC is required for gaming and betting sites
As the growth in online gambling continues apace, here’s an interesting piece on the need for KYC checks for gaming and gambling companies.
Gambling Commission releases its Evidence Gaps and Priorities Programme for 2023-2026
The UK Gambling Commission has published an outline for improving their evidence-based development plan. It covers six main themes:
- early gambling experiences and gateway products
- the range and variability of gambling experiences
- gambling-related harms and vulnerability
- the impact of operator practices
- product characteristics and risk
- illegal gambling and crime
More details on the sanctions announced by G7 leaders in Hiroshima
The G7 Leaders’ statement on Ukraine covers several areas including support for a lasting peace in Ukraine, nuclear safety and security, further sanctions to stop Russia’s aggression and support for Ukraine’s anti-corruption and justice system reforms:
EU adds further sanctions on Iran for human rights violations
The EU Council has added an eight set of sanctions extending restrictive measures to 216 individuals and 37 entities. They consist of an asset freeze, a travel ban to the EU and a prohibition to make funds or economic resources available to those listed.
Crypto & Virtual Assets
Reluctance to adopt anti-money laundering standards is damaging crypto
At a recent meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), over 200 countries agreed that it’s a priority to adopt and following standards to tackle financial crime. However, that’s still proving difficult to implement. There are huge upsides to getting this right including mainstream adoption of crypto although all countries will need to work together to bring this about.
US Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act could effectively ban crypto
Concern has been raised that an act currently being pushed through the US Congress that’s designed to close crypto money laundering loopholes, could end up having the effect of banning crypto altogether. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Roger Marshall who are pushing through the legislation are keen to establish rules regarding digital assets which could widen the number and types of entities considered as financial institutions.
South Korea looking at new tools to catch people laundering crypto overseas
New blockchain analytics software will help prosecutors apply the same level of inspection to overseas crypto exchanges as to domestic ones. A bidding process has been opened to deliver what they’re calling the “Advanced Cyber Investigation System”.
RiskScreen AML spotlight report
AML Vulnerabilities in Gaming and Gambling
Gaming and gambling companies risk getting caught in a pincer movement. On the one hand, criminal groups are eyeing the potential opportunities afforded by the industry to launder the proceeds of wrongdoing, particularly as online gambling has boomed.
On the other, regulators, alert to this danger, are increasingly cracking down on companies judged to have fallen short on anti-money laundering (AML) standards.
In this industry report, we look at:
– Where gambling and gaming companies face AML risks
– The regulatory environment
– How to ensure compliance with AML
Download this valuable compliance analysis here.
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