[author: Alasdair Muller]
On 11 March 2014, the European Parliament adopted the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (Directive). The updated rules mean that all gambling services (both physical and electronic) will be subject to EU-wide regulation, whereas previously only casinos had been included within the scope of the legislation.
Gambling operators must now apply due diligence measures to customers who carry out transactions of €2,000 or more (whether the transaction is carried out in one go or a series of bets that appear to be linked). Member States have the option to apply this threshold to a gambler’s winnings as well as to their stakes.
Member States (with the approval of the European Commission) may grant exemptions to the due diligence requirements for “low risk” transactions. However, such exceptions will be rare and must be supported by clear evidence. Member States must also ensure that managers and beneficial owners of gambling operators are fit and proper persons, with the ability to protect the provider from being misused for criminal purposes. In addition, regulators will have increased supervisory powers, including the possibility to conduct on-site inspections.