EU’s FOURTH ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING DIRECTIVE HAS COME INTO FORCE
The implications to the online betting market of EU28
As of 26th June 2017, based upon the decision of the European Commission (EC), the provisions of The Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (4th AMLD) have effectively come into force. Accordingly, EU Member States are now obliged to transparently transpose the provisions of the Directive into their respective national legislative provisions. The European Commission has commenced with the check-ups of the state of the transposition, that already resulted in written addresses to the Member States that have not yet initialized the necessary measures (14 member countries, according to mid-August records).
As stipulated, the 4th AMLD applies to ‘obliged entities’, namely credit and financial institutions, as well as legal or natural persons acting in the exercise of their professional activities. Likewise, according to the Article 2 Paragraph 1 Section F of the Directive, providers of gambling services are the legal entities subject to its provisions.
In that respect, Section 21 of the Introductory provisions, although previses the possibility of exemption (that by no means do not apply to casinos) for the customers that do not pose higher risk, obliges the member states to lower the corresponding threshold for the providers of gambling services to EUR 2000 or more, given the fact, as stated, “the use of gambling sector services to launder the proceeds of criminal activity is of concern”. All the gambling-related transactions are subject to the Risk-Based Analysis, Costumer Due Diligence Assessment and as well as to imperatives of a better understanding of the potential financial system abuse, that are to result in a better quality of recommendations and the risk-mapping of Supranational Risk Assessment Reports.
It is apparent that the logic behind this Directive implies that any further imposition of restrictions via national legislature, regarding the services of online betting, is unnecessary and contrary to this legally binding act, as well as of the EU acquis in whole.