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The updated Money Laundering Regulations, which implement the EU 5th Money Laundering Directive, come into force today, 10 January 2020. The Gambling Commission (the Commission) has now also published the 5th edition of its guidance for remote and non-remote casinos on the prevention of money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, which comes into force immediately.

As previously advised, the Commission recognises that it takes time to implement changes and we will take that into account, but we expect to see that operators have acted promptly, invested appropriately (if technology is required to accommodate the changes) and implemented changes with the requisite urgency. Additionally, the publication of this updated guidance must result in casino businesses reviewing, and accordingly amending, their money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessments, as well as the associated policies, procedures and controls.

The main changes to the Money Laundering Regulations which have been incorporated into the 5th edition of the guidance are:

  • Taking appropriate measures in preparation for, and during, the adoption of new products or business practices and to assess and mitigate any money laundering risks arising from such adoption, in addition to the existing and similar requirement for new technology (regulation 19)
  • Having specific policies, procedures and controls for the measures described above (regulation 19)
  • Taking appropriate measures to ensure that any agents that operators use for the purposes of their business are given appropriate training in anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (regulation 24)
  • Further direction in relation to what information may be regarded as ‘obtained from a reliable source which is independent of the person whose identity is being verified’ (regulation 28)    
  • Further requirements for enhanced customer due diligence measures for high-risk third countries, complex or unusually large transactions, and where there are unusual patterns of transactions, or the transactions have no apparent economic or legal purpose, as well as customers who are beneficiaries of life insurance policies or the customer is a third country national who has received citizenship in an EEA state in exchange for the transfer of capital, purchase of property, government bonds or investment in corporate entities in the EEA state (regulation 33)   

The Commission has also incorporated additional guidance in relation to the risk-based approach, risk assessments and risk-based customer due diligence.

Posted on 10 January 2020