New advice to help smaller gambling businesses comply with Proceeds of Crime Act
Date: 17 September 2009
The Gambling Commission (the Commission) has
today published advice for gambling operators and a short leaflet
aimed specifically at small businesses to enable them to comply
with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).
It is a requirement of POCA that all gambling
businesses identify, assess and minimise the risk of customers
using money obtained illegally (the proceeds of crime) to gamble in
their business. Additional requirements are made of casino
businesses under the Treasury’s anti-money laundering regime.
Where such activity is suspected, operators
must report their concerns to the Serious Organised Crime Agency
(SOCA) via a Suspicious Activity Report. Failure to report known or
suspected money laundering activity may result in prosecution.
The Commission’s Deputy Chief Executive, Tom Kavanagh said:
“Many businesses can be targeted by criminals
seeking to spend the proceeds of crime including small gambling
“The purpose of the two advice documents is to help gambling
operators get the right processes in place under the Proceeds of
Duties and responsibilities under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 -
advice to operators (excluding casino operators) - September
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 - Information for small businesses -
Notes to editors
The Gambling Commission
- 1. The Gambling Commission (the Commission)
regulates gambling in the public interest.
- 2. The Commission’s objectives are: to
prevent gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being
associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime;
to ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way; and,
to protect children and other vulnerable people from being harmed
or exploited by gambling.
- 3. The Commission is responsible for
licensing and regulating all commercial gambling in Great Britain
other than the National Lottery and spread betting, which are the
responsibility of the National Lottery Commission and the Financial
Services Authority (FSA) respectively.
- 4. The leaflet and further advice is
available here and at http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk.
- 5. Trade associations such as the
Association of British Bookmakers have also produced advice for
their members on this issue.
- 6. Money laundering is any action taken
to conceal, arrange, use or possess the proceeds of any criminal
conduct. Criminals try to launder 'dirty money' in an attempt to
make it look 'clean' in order to be able to use the proceeds
without detection and to put them beyond the reach of law
enforcement and taxation agencies.
- 7. There are numerous things that can make
someone either know or suspect that they are dealing with the
proceeds of crime. Some common examples of how suspicions may
be raised are listed below, although this is not an exhaustive list
and there may well be other circumstances which raise
- a. A man convicted of dealing in
drugs is released from prison and immediately starts gambling large
amounts of money. He is known to be out of work and other
customers inform staff that he is supplying drugs again. This
will give rise to the suspicion that he is spending the proceeds of
his criminal activity.
- b. Stakes wagered by a customer
become unusually high or out of the ordinary and the customer is
believed to be spending beyond his or her known means. This
requires some knowledge of the customer but, nevertheless, there
may be circumstances that appear very unusual and raise the
suspicion that he or she is using money obtained unlawfully.
It may be that the customer lives in low cost accommodation with no
known source of income but nonetheless is spending money well above
his or her apparent means. There is no set amount which
dictates when a disclosure should be made and much will depend on
what is known or suspected about the customer.
- c. A customer exhibits unusual
gambling patterns with an almost guaranteed return or very little
financial risk. It is accepted that some customers prefer to
gamble in this way but, in some instances, the actions may raise
suspicion because they are different from the customer’s normal
- d. Money is deposited by a customer
or held over a period and withdrawn by the customer without being
used for gambling. For instance, suspicions should be raised
by any large amounts deposited in gaming machines or gambling
accounts that are then cashed or withdrawn after very little game
play or gambling.
- e. A customer regularly gambles large
amounts of money and appears to find an unusual level of losses
acceptable. In this instance, the customer may be spending
the proceeds of crime and sees the losses as an acceptable
consequence of the process of laundering the proceeds of
- f. Operators are advised that
instances of high spend by customers that lead to commercial risk
for the operator may also indicate suspicious activity.
- 8. Failure to submit Suspicious Activity
Reports could lead to action against an operator under POCA.
Evidence that an operator was willfully avoiding its legal duties
could also lead to regulatory action by the Commission.
Further information is available from the
Press enquiries to John Travers on (0121) 230
6700 or email@example.com