Gambling Commission releases its updated risk assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing in the British gambling market
On 30 November 2023, the Gambling Commission published its updated money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment for the British gambling industry in 2023 (the “ML/TF Risk Assessment”). The release of the updated ML/TF Risk Assessment has been a long time coming: the Gambling Commission had not updated its ML/TF Risk Assessment since December 2020.
The Gambling Commission sets out that the purpose of the ML/TF Risk Assessment:
- provide a resource for the industry in informing their own ML and TF risk assessments
- provide the Commission’s support to HM Treasury’s National Risk Assessment
- inform and prioritise [its] licensing, compliance, and enforcement activity to raise standards in the industry and meet [its] duties under [the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (the “Regulations”)] …”
Key points of note are:
- The Gambling Commission reminds casino licensees to consider their obligations in the light of the update to the Regulations in September 2022 which requires those businesses to identify, assess, understand and mitigate the risk of proliferation financing.
- The overall risk rating for each gambling sector has not changed since the Gambling Commission’s previous risk assessment from 2020 (the “2020 ML/TF Risk Assessment”).
- The methodology applied by the Gambling Commission to assess the risks in the British gambling industry has been developed from its 2020 ML/TF Risk Assessment and it therefore recommends that the ML/TF Risk Assessment is read in conjunction with the 2020 ML/TF Risk Assessment.
Licence Condition (“LC”) 12.1.1 of the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice requires that all operating licence holders (with the exception of gaming machine technical and gambling software licences):
- conduct a risk assessment addressing “the risks of their business being used for money laundering and terrorist financing”;
- following the completion of that risk assessment, ensure they have “appropriate policies, procedures and controls to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing”; and
- ensure that their policies, procedures and controls for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing are “implemented effectively, kept under review, revised appropriately to ensure that they remain effective, and take into account any applicable learning or guidelines published by the Gambling Commission from time to time”.
Licensees must therefore ensure that they review the ML/TF Risk Assessment in detail, with a view to:
- reviewing and refining (as applicable) their own money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment in the light of the ML/TF Risk Assessment; and
- updating their policies, procedures and controls to take into account any changes made to their risk assessment.
Please get in contact with us if you require assistance with reviewing your money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment and/or your AML policies, procedures and controls.