EU strengthens anti-money laundering rules: casinos on the front line

In collaboration with CSC – Centro Studi Gioco

The Council of the European Union and Parliament signed an agreement on new, stricter rules on anti-money laundering and combating terrorism. The agreement reached represents a significant step forward in the path towards the establishment of the new anti-money laundering system within the European Union.

The documents agreed by the Council and the European Parliament are distinguished by their specific fields of application. On the one hand, the Sixth Directive focuses on strengthening the organization of the national anti-money laundering systems of the Member States. On the other hand, the new regulation, known as the Single Anti-Money Laundering Code, aims at a complete harmonization of existing regulations across the EU. This approach is aimed at eliminating loopholes that have until now allowed criminals to launder illicit funds or support terrorist activities.

The new provisions, which are part of the package of measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, will have to be implemented by banks and other financial institutions operating in Europe. The role of these entities, including financial institutions, banks, real estate agencies, asset management services, casinos and traders, in applying the new rules is fundamental. Their strategic location is crucial for the effective identification of potentially suspicious activities.

Since many years, Land-based and online casinos are at the forefront of the fight against money launderinga very widespread phenomenon in Europe which sees the gambling chain as one of the markets of greatest interest to organized crime.

“The gambling sector represents one of the main collaborators of institutions at European level in the fight against money laundering and the infiltration of organized crime. To counter these threats, online gaming operators and casinos have adopted a series of effective and cutting-edge anti-money laundering measures. These companies in the legal gaming supply chain in Italy, operating with large sums of money, are particularly exposed to the risk of illicit activities, therefore they have had to implement drastic measures to limit the devastating effects of this phenomenon”, comments Massimiliano Riverso, editorial director of CasinoSicuro .it.

One of the first lines of defense is the process of “Know Your Customer” (KYC). Casinos are required to identify their customers and verify their identity, especially for large transactions. This process includes the collection of personal documents, such as passports or identity cards, to prevent anonymity in financial transactions. “KYC is associated with the monitoring of transactions and the reporting of suspicious transactions using highly sophisticated technologies. These two protection tools are essential for spotting unusual gambling patterns or transactions that could indicate money laundering attempts. But one of the most effective measures is represented by limits on cash payments, which are in line with local and international regulations and represent an effective deterrent against the use of cash for illicit purposes.”continues Riverso of

The agreement on the new single anti-money laundering code has expanded the list of subjects obliged to respect these limits, also including the cryptocurrency sector and requiring them to conduct due diligence on their customers, report suspicious activity and apply customer due diligence measures for transactions of an amount equal to or greater than 1,000 euros. It also sets a Europe-wide maximum limit of 10,000 euros for cash payments, making it more difficult for criminals to launder dirty money. Obliged entities, including casinos, will have to identify and verify the identity of a person carrying out an occasional cash transaction of between €3,000 and €10,000.

“Other measures that are adopted by the gaming supply chain should not be underestimated. All casino employees receive specific training on anti-money laundering laws, training that enables them to recognize and manage suspicious activities, ensuring a safer gaming environment that complies with regulations. Land-based casinos and online gaming operators also implement internal policies and procedures to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering laws, which also include the appointment of a dedicated officer.”underlines Riverso.

“In the end, collaboration with local and international authorities is another fundamental pillar, which highlights the active and responsible role of casinos in preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. This report allows you to stay updated on best practices and new emerging threats in the field of money laundering, protecting not only your own integrity and that of your clients, but also contributing to financial security globally. The fight against money laundering in casinos is an ongoing commitment that requires vigilance, innovation and continuous collaboration,” concludes the director of