The penalty charges handed down by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) this week “won’t be the last of this size” according to Rhys David, CEO of Credas, who said the fines serve as a “timely reminder” of the regulator’s stance towards substandard anti-money laundering (AML) safeguards.
The reaction of Credas – a provider of identity verification technology – came in response to charges imposed on InTouch Games (£2.2m), Betit Operations (£1.4 m) and MT Secure Trade (£700,000) as part of the UKGC’s ongoing investigation into the online casino sector.
“This is a timely reminder that the regulators are showing zero tolerance on any business in this industry that isn’t implementing effective safeguards to prevent money laundering,” said David. “This is a substantial amount and given the scale of the gambling industry, this won’t be the last fine of this size that we see.”
He also urged all gambling businesses to familiarise themselves with the core principles of the existing AMLD4 (Anti-Money Laundering 4th Directive), as well as AMLD5 – in bound from early 2020.
To meet such principles, Credas has developed a facial recognition solution that allows companies to carry out simple AML and know your customer (KYC) checks quickly and securely.
A key part of the technology is that it enables customers to verify their identity remotely, meaning significantly less time waiting for identity documents to be provided.
David continued: “With financial fraud showing no signs of slowing down, businesses in this sector need to be mindful that this isn’t going away and the regulators are doing all they can create a safe environment for those who choose to gamble, as well as ensuring that businesses providing gambling services are properly regulated and governed.
“But there are new solutions out there to respond to the changing legal landscape that can protect both the customer and business needs.”
Published in 2018, AMLD5 aims to crack down on money laundering and terrorism financing in Europe. Under the directive, firms must provide the public with access to beneficial ownership information and take due-diligence measures to monitor transactions with high-risk countries.