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Duties and responsibilities under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

This advice explains how operators can make sure they and their employees comply with their obligations under The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).

  1. Contents
  2. Part 1 - Introduction and summary of the advice
  3. 4 - The role of the Gambling Commission

4 - The role of the Gambling Commission

The Commission requires operators to prevent gambling being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime and disorder, or being used to support crime. This advice document is an important frame of reference to help operators meet that objective. Whilst potential breaches of POCA will normally be reported to the NCA and fall to the police to investigate, the Commission, in its role as the gambling regulator, seeks assurance that risks to the licensing objectives posed by money laundering activity are effectively managed, and this advice will assist operators to meet their obligations under POCA, where appropriate.

The Commission adopts a risk-based approach to its role. We focus our attention on circumstances where the processing of criminal funds or criminal spend indicates serious failures in an operator’s arrangements for the management of risk and compliance with POCA, or makes a reasonably significant contribution to the financial performance of the business, particularly concerning their continued suitability to hold a licence. See the public statements (opens in a new tab).

Where an operator fails to uphold the licensing objectives, for example by being ineffective in applying AML controls or ignoring their responsibilities under POCA, or breaches an applicable licence condition, the Commission will consider reviewing the operating licence under section 116 (opens in a new tab) of the Act. This could result in the suspension or revocation of the operator’s licence under sections 118 (opens in a new tab) and 119 (opens in a new tab) of the Act. The Commission may also consider imposing a financial penalty where a licence condition has been breached, in accordance with section 121 (opens in a new tab) of the Act.

The Commission and other agencies or authorities that have the appropriate authorisation under POCA in England and Wales (see The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (References to Financial Investigators) (England and Wales) Order 2015) (opens in a new tab) can, in certain circumstances, apply for orders and warrants in relation to money laundering, for the purpose of, for example:

  • requiring a specified person to produce certain material
  • permitting the search of and seizure of material from specified premises
  • requiring a financial institution to provide customer information relating to a specified person.
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The role of gambling operators
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Licence conditions and codes of practice
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