Only casino operators to be subject to the EU 4th MLD
The UK Government has responded to the consultation on the EU 4th Money Laundering Directive by exempting part of the gambling sector. Only land based and remote casino operators will be subject to the new regulations due to be introduced in June this year.
The UK National Risk Assessment published back in 2015 stated that the scale of the gambling sector is relatively small in comparison to other regulated sectors such as financial services and law and as a result categorised the risk of money laundering and terrorist funding as low. It did however state that there remains considerable scope for further improvement in the gambling sector and noted that if recent efforts to improve standards within the sector were to lapse the overall risk could rise.
A sentiment reinforced by the Gambling Commission who remind operators that failure to effectively manage the money laundering and terrorist financing risks is likely to lead to their inclusion within the provision of the new regulations at a later date.
Commercial considerations seem to have been taken into account as part of this consultation. The Governments decision will be a relief for many in the industry. Operators should however remain mindful that there is a clear need to raise standards and take AML activities very seriously.