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The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has offered a new set of guidance for European Union (EU) states on how to address Money Laundering (ML) and Terrorist Financing (TF) threats.
The Supranational Risk Assessment Report (SNRA) included these suggestions when it was initially released in 2019. The report was supposed to be revised every two years in accordance with the EU’s AML Directive, however, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the update was postponed till 2022.
The online gambling industry and crypto assets were two areas where the risk thresholds needed to be reevaluated. The FATF takes note of these two factors’ effects on European Union member states, especially in light of the growing danger of money laundering in the EU’s industries and economic sectors.
AML and CTF concerns were analyzed by the FATF in reference to over 40 products and services that fell under eight main business categories. The gambling industry was notable for its rapid economic expansion and technological advancement. Additionally, since the latest SNRA study in 2019, relevant agencies have signaled increasing risks associated with online gambling due to the sector’s growth that was observed during and after the pandemic.
The same SNRA report states that brick-and-mortar casinos remain to be exposed to high-risk AML concerns that are brought on by cash transactions. Considering that the illicit economy is largely dependent on the usage of banknotes, the use of cash plays a significant role in ML and TF threats.
The majority of member states that have been targeted by illegal online gambling operators are subject to AML concerns when it comes to digital gambling. As per the FATF, confidential e-money handling services and digital currencies contribute to this concern. The FATF also noted a lack of fair feedback and reporting of dubious methods in the gambling industry.
European financial intelligence departments are urged to enhance the standard of their findings and make great use of the data provided. The FATF also advises compliance officers, retailers, and staff to get specialized training that emphasizes proper risk assessments of pertinent goods and business models in order to boost gambling AML standards.
Suggested Read: FATF Issues Guidance for AML/CFT Digitization of FIUs