UK licensed gambling operators should take note of the following two news items that the Gambling Commission has recently added to its AML News webpage:
6 April 2020: HM Treasury approval of guidance for remote and non-remote casinos
HM Treasury has formally approved the Gambling Commission’s guidance for non-remote and remote casinos. A note reflecting this approval has been added to page 89 of the guidance as published in January 2020. No other changes have been made to the document.
This approval means that a court must take into account this guidance when considering whether a person in the casino sector has committed the offence of failing to report suspected money laundering or terrorist financing. Similarly, the Terrorism Act requires a court to take account of such approved industry guidance when considering whether a person has failed to report under that Act. A court must also consider whether someone has followed this guidance if they are prosecuted for failing to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations.
22 April 2020: Gambling Commission reminder to all licensed casinos: furloughed Nominated Officers
The Gambling Commission recognises the major impact the current unprecedented Covid-19 crisis is having on affected sectors with the closure of premises. We are aware you are facing uncertain and unsettling times and dealing with significant challenges impacting your businesses, your customers and your employees.
Following engagement with the Industry about an emerging risk we appreciate that part of your management of these challenges may include the furloughing of your staff. The Commission would like to remind casino businesses that during this time, compliance with the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations continues to apply, particularly Regulation 21 regarding Nominated Officers.
If operators are engaging in the furloughing of staff please ensure you notify the Commission of who will be undertaking Nominated Officer responsibilities within 14 days of any appointment changes through our key events portal.
Regulation 21: Internal Controls
(3) An individual in the relevant person’s firm must be appointed as a nominated officer; and
(4) A relevant person must, within 14 days of the appointment, inform its supervisory authority of —
(b) the identity of the individual first appointed under paragraph (3); and
(c) of any subsequent appointment to either of those positions.
Should any queries arise from the above reminder please email [email protected] and we will of course support you with your queries during these challenging times.