The prevention of money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism
3 - The role of gambling operators
Operators have a responsibility to uphold the three licensing objectives set out in the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act) (opens in a new tab). The first of those licensing objectives is to prevent gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime.
As described previously, money laundering in the gambling sector takes two main forms:
- Exchanging money, assets, goods and property that were acquired criminally for money or assets that appear to be legitimate or 'clean' - so called classic money laundering). This is frequently achieved by transferring or passing the funds through some form of legitimate business transaction or structure.
- The use of criminal proceeds to fund gambling as a leisure activity - so called criminal or 'lifestyle' spend.
In order to avoid committing offences under POCA, operators should report instances of known or suspected money laundering or terrorist financing by customers to the National Crime Agency (opens in a new tab) (the NCA) and, where a defence (appropriate consent) is requested, wait for such defence (consent) to deal with a transaction or an arrangement involving the customer, or wait until a set period has elapsed before proceeding.
Operators should be aware that there is no minimum financial threshold for the management and reporting of known or suspected money laundering or terrorist financing activity.
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The role of the Gambling Commission
Last updated: 30 May 2023
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Updated in line with version 3 of the guidance. References to 'proliferation financing' added.