Regulatory Update (March) – EGBA AML Guidelines and €26 Million KSA Fines (2065)

Regulatory Update (March): EGBA’s new AML guidelines and KSA clamps down on unlicensed operators via €26 million fines! (Image courtesy of Succo at pixabay.com)

Today we have a couple of stories of a regulatory nature. First the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has recently published new anti-money laundering (AML) guidelines for operators within the EU. Secondly, the KSA (Dutch Gaming Authority) has clamped down on unlicensed operators serving players in the Netherlands, with fines totaling more than €26 million.

New EGBA Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines for Pan-European iGaming Companies

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has recently assumed a pioneering role by publishing the first set of pan-European guidelines aimed at fighting against money laundering in online gambling. The primary objective of these newly established regulations is to guarantee the highest level of compliance from online gambling operators who are active in Europe.

The organization, which represents European gaming providers remains deeply committed to curbing money laundering activities within the gaming industry. The EGBA has announced that its guidelines for the prevention of money laundering now incorporate fresh provisions and has urged online casino and betting portal operators to observe them in their daily business operations.

The EGBA’s latest money laundering directive for the gambling sector strengthens its preventive efforts by introducing a set of minimum requirements that online gambling operators must meet. The aim is to ensure compliance with the latest anti-money laundering regulations in the EU. Following an exploratory study in autumn 2022, the new rules will take effect in 2023. During the consultation phase, national gaming regulators and money laundering prevention experts were asked for their assessments and comments by the Brussels-based interest group.

You can find out more specifics about the guidelines in the official EGBA press release here.

Given the virtual gaming industry’s annual turnover of more than 38 billion euros, which was recently disclosed in March 2023, minimum regulations to prevent money laundering are essential. The money laundering compliance framework is a critical tool in the fight against financial crime and provides companies in the gaming industry with an effective guide to better identify warning signs. These provisions are part of the first Europe-wide initiative to fight money laundering across various business sectors, including the online gambling sector.

The top anti-money laundering compliance experts in Europe have reviewed and revised the recommendations to ensure the best possible results and ease of implementation. The EGBA is committed to promoting better anti-money laundering practices, and the AML Guidelines represent a crucial step forward in this effort.

The Most Prominent Members of the EGBA

  • Bet365
  • Entain Group
  • Flutter Entertainment
  • The Kindred Group
  • 888 William Hill Group (operates 888casino reviewed here)

Dutch Gaming Authority Fines 5 Operators a Combined €26 Million

In the Netherlands, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) which overseas the iGaming market, has once again come down hard on unlicensed operators that continue to accept Dutch members. The authority has issued fines totaling over €26 Million. The biggest of these, €12.6 million, was issued to N1 Interactive, as it is the second time the operator’s online casino, Bob Casino, has been caught accepting registrations from players in the country. N1 Interactive first earned a €500,000 fine in 2021 following similar offences.

That record fine, and those issued to the other four operators are designed to send a clear message that the Netherlands will no longer tolerate online casinos that illegally offer their iGaming services to Dutch citizens. Other operators hit with fines were Videoslots Limited, BP Group Limited, Probe Investments Limited, and Fairload Limited. You will see the fines issued to each in the accompanying box.

The Dutch Gaming Authority has had N1 Interactive and its associated online casinos under scrutiny for several years. Following a blacklisting due to the first fine in the summer of 2021, the regulatory body has kept a close eye on their operations. Towards the end of 2021, after the first quarter following market liberalization, the authority took action against many providers. The state authority expressed interest in investigating over two dozen online casinos without a license, as some of these companies continue to operate without the necessary legal authorization to offer online gambling in the Netherlands. Despite this, Dutch players have been accepted and have been playing on these sites, leading to severe consequences in the form of significant fines for the non-compliant online casinos.

The fines imposed by KSA vary in amount due to their unique fines policy implemented since September 2021, which considers the company’s turnover in the Netherlands. The affected companies were notified of the fines in December of last year and subsequently filed a lawsuit to prevent the publication of the notices. However, their request was denied this week, resulting in a total fine of over 26 million euros.

Operators Fined by the KSA

KSA Fines
  • Bob Casino: €12,640,000 (N1 Interactive Limited)
  • Videoslots: €9,900,000 (Videoslots Limited)
  • 21.com: 1,800,000 euros (BP Group Limited)
  • Energy Casino: 1,128,000 (Probe Investments Limited)
  • LVbet: 900,000 euros (Fairload Limited)

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