Legislation News of the Week: EGBA Issues Pan-European AML Rules, MGA Cancels Fewer Licenses in 2021

EGBA has presented a set of AML guidelines for gambling ops in the EU and EEA. Meanwhile, four sportsbook operators in Germany filed a complaint against the betting proximity ban. The Swedish iGaming industry anticipates changes in legislation after the government elections. Maltese gambling watchdog reports on its enforcement activities in 2021. And Dutch regulator launches a gambling addiction research program.

EGBA releases new AML guidelines

The European Gambling and Betting Association has released a new set of anti-money laundering (AML) rules that apply to all operators in the EU in EEA. The guidelines incorporate the upcoming EU legislation in the field of combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The rulebook is intended to strengthen the existing national and EU anti-money laundering practices. It covers the following topics, in particular:

  • Customer & business risk assessment;
  • Customer due diligence and cooperation;
  • Reporting of suspicious transactions;
  • AML and safe gambling;
  • Requirements for keeping records.

EGBA gathers feedback from all interested parties until October 13.

German sportsbooks call for revocations of betting proximity ban

In Germany, four sportsbook operators united to challenge the betting proximity ban, which means that wagering facilities cannot be located in the same building as a casino or gaming hall. The rule was implemented in the new State Treaty on Gambling, which came into effect in July last year.

The sports betting companies filed a complaint to the Baden-Wurttemberg constitutional court, stating that the administrative courts do not offer enough protection (including temporary) for betting ops. The state will discuss the appeal on November 21 in Stuttgart.

The Swedish iGaming industry expects more relaxed bonus rules after the election

On Sunday, September 11, Sweden held an election for the Riksdag, the governing body of the country. While the whole country is waiting for the results, the Swedish iGaming operators are hopeful the new government will reform the gambling sector, eliminating strict bonus limits, in particular.

The experts predict that the new government will be led by the center-right Moderate Party instead of the Social Democrats.

The head of the iGaming Industry Association (BOS) Gustaf Hoffstedt believes that with the change of the ruling party there are few very possible changes in the industry. Hoffstedt believes we may see a privatization of the state-owned Svenska Spell. The change in bonusing and marketing rules is also anticipated.

MGA issued fewer license cancellations in 2021

The Maltese gambling regulator, MGA, has recently published an annual report, summing up its activities in 2021. It appears that last year, MGA has cancelled less licenses, compared to the previous year. Instead, the gambling watchdog opted for warings and penalties for operators that did not comply with the MGA rules.

In 2021, the authority cancelled 7 gambling permits, in contrast with 14 cancellations in 2020 and 12 in 219. MGA also did not suspend one license this year. At the same time, the authority issued 31 penalties and 64 official warnings. Also, the Maltese authority imspected nearly 6 000 brick-and-mortar casinos.

KSA gambling addiction research program goes live

The Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has released a new program for research of gambling addiction prevention. With this program, KSA aims to contribute to preventing, treating, and recognizing gambling addiction, harm caused by games of chance, and other gambling-related problems. 

The research project comes after the study rafted by the Trimbos research institute and is developed by the ZonMw heath organization. KSA selected picked the orgazination to craft the program in 2021. The project will run from 2022 to 2025.

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