The global and local Anti-Money Laundering laws have become stricter and attract higher fines, leading to many bookmakers finding it difficult to stay up to date and compliant with the new laws as they come up. It might seem like staying compliant to the AML laws and regulations is easy, but because of little knowledge, bookmakers usually make little mistakes that dissatisfy their regulator.
There are different examples of betting sites that don’t ask for ID who had to give up huge amounts of money because they could not protect their problem gamblers or stop money laundering through their websites. In 2019, Ladbrokes Coral, a well-known British gambling company was fined £5.9m. Also, Tabcorp from Australia had to pay a whopping $45m fine. There are also CG Technology and California Card Club in the US who had to pay fines of $12m and $8m respectively.
To make it easier for you, here is a short and comprehensive guide to the AML procedure in the gaming industry.
AML Procedure Overview
AML laws are usually the same in all industries but for the gaming industry, there are still some specifics to consider since there’s a higher chance of money laundering happening here than in other industries. Money laundering in this industry can either be in the form of using gambling websites to clean money earned from illegal activities through low-outcome bets or using illegally gotten money to sponsor gambling activities.
The breakdown for AML compliance for bookmakers is as follows:
- AML Compliance Program
All gambling companies have to create and monitor comprehensive AML compliance programs. This program is meant to state all the rules and procedures for how the company will detect, assess and report all financial crimes. This is to prevent betting from being used for money laundering and other fraudulent activities.
- Customer Due Diligence
All online gambling platforms have to conduct a compulsory check on all their players before they can place a bet. This check is called Customer Due Diligence. For Customer Due Diligence, the company has to receive information about the customer that can authenticate their identity. It will also assess if it looks like they are involved in a crime.
- Enhanced Due Diligence
If there is a higher chance of money laundering activities on a gambling platform, the company has to take its AML process to the next level with the Enhanced Due Diligence. Many online gambling operators believe that carrying out the Enhanced Due Diligence is rare, but this process shouldn’t be underestimated. This is especially for online bookmakers because they are usually a target for money launderers. The most important part of the Enhanced Due Diligence procedure is checking the source of the player’s funds. This way, they can block players who get their money from illegal sources.
Prevention of Problem Gambling
Apart from the AML procedure, another important part of betting is the problem and responsible gambling. This does not only involve the player but bookmakers, online casinos and related organizations are all involved in helping players prevent problem gambling.
For one, the Know Your Customer (KYC) procedure plays an important role in preventing problem gambling and encouraging responsible gambling. How does KYC help in the prevention of problem gambling?
- It checks the customer’s age: Through the KYC procedure which usually asks for the player’s age and valid identification card, the gambling site can be aware of the age of a player before they can bet. This prevents minors from betting, which is also an important part of responsible gambling.
- It can check a customer’s source of funds: A gambling platform can also check the source of funds of any player to make sure that they are not betting more than they can afford, which is an important sign of a problem gambler. They can do so through accessing publicly available information on the salary of a customer, living costs and how much they can spare.
There are other signs to check if a gambler has a problem or is heading towards getting addicted apart from through the KYC procedure. Bookmakers and online casinos lookout for these signs and block players with an addiction problem.
Some of these signs include players who are constantly complaining about losing too much or those who try to compensate for their losses by betting more. Also, players who are constantly placing high stakes bets.
Bookmakers and online casinos, according to the rules set by gambling regulators, have to promote the fact that gambling is a form of entertainment and not a source of income. They also have to educate players on responsible gambling and advertise mindfully.
There you have it! All the basic information on the AML procedure and preventing problem gambling. If gambling platforms can carefully follow the rules, they can prevent getting in trouble with regulators and protect the interest of their players.