The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) have published a revised Consultation Document on the application of anti-money laundering and combatting the funding of terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements to remote gaming operators established in Malta.
The document covers AML/CFT obligations which merit sector-specific interpretation insofar as the same will apply to operators licensed to provide a service involving the wagering of a stake with monetary value in games of chance, including games of chance with an element of skill, via electronic means of distance communication upon request from the recipient of said services, with the opportunity to win prizes of money or money’s worth.
the FIAU and the MGA have indicated that the updated document should be considered as delineating the various obligations which will be incumbent upon remote gaming licensees
The updated Consultation Document builds on the feedback received in the context of the original consultation process launched on the 10th July 2017 and seeks to address some of the concerns expressed by operators and industry participants. The main revisions relate to identification, the threshold approach and source of wealth and the document has also been updated to include certain aspects of compliance which were not considered in the initial Consultation Document, particularly, the appointment of the Money Laundering Reporting Officer.
The document effectively comprises a series of non-binding proposals, however, both the FIAU and the MGA have indicated that the updated document should be considered as delineating the various obligations which will be incumbent upon remote gaming licensees established in Malta in connection with compliance with the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations, 2017.
The MGA’s newly established AML unit is now fully operational and will be conducting AML/CFT supervisory assessments through on-site and off-site inspections
The Consultation process closes on the 5th March 2018. Thereafter, sector-specific AML guidance is expected to be published on the basis of the updated Consultation Document, together with feedback received from remote gaming licensees and interested parties.
On a related matter, the MGA announced on the 13th February 2018 that a new Anti-Money Laundering Unit has been set up within the MGA’s operational and regulatory structures. The MGA’s newly established AML unit is now fully operational and will be conducting AML/CFT supervisory assessments through on-site and off-site inspections in respect of both land based and remote gaming licensees.
To this end, the MGA has also confirmed that it will continue to enhance its collaboration with the FIAU with a view to ensuring the implementation of an effective AML/CFT framework coupled with the required levels of coordination and scrutiny across public and private bodies.