Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Swedish Gambling Watchdog Rolls Out New Money Laundering Reporting System

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Swedish gambling watchdog, Spelinspektionen is set to introduce a new system for reporting suspected money laundering and terrorism financing within Sweden’s regulated gambling industry, the regulator itself revealed in a Friday statement on its official website.

The new reporting system, goAML, will replace the existing DAR system that enables locally licensed operators to report any suspected attempts for the local gambling industry to be used by criminal organizations to launder the proceeds of their crime or to finance terrorism-related activities.

Spelinspektionen said that the new system will, among other things, aim to increase the quality of reported material to Sweden’s Financial Police.

According to the timetable provided by the gambling authority, locally licensed gambling operators will be able to register with the new goAML system from December 9, 2019. Registration is subject to approval from the Swedish Financial Police, but the process should take no more than two working days.

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Registered gambling operators will be able to start submitting their reports via goAML from January 13, 2020. Companies will still be able to submit reports with the existing DAR system, but Spelinspektionen noted that if a report has been submitted via one of the two systems, it would not need to be submitted to the other. The old reporting system will shut down on March 1, 2020.

New Reporting System amid Crackdown

News about the new system that will be accepting reports for suspected money laundering and terrorism financing within the gambling industry emerge amid Spelinspektionen’s ongoing crackdown on poor anti-money laundering controls demonstrated by some of its licensees.

Earlier this year, the regulator revoked the first license of a gambling operator under Sweden’s new gambling law, which took effect on January 1, 2019 to open the local market to international operators willing to conduct activities in a regulated and controlled environment.

The affected operator was Swedish group Global Gaming, which operates a number of online gaming brands, including its flagship operation Ninja Casino. Spelinspektionen revoked the company’s license after discovering weaknesses and serious shortcomings in the anti-money laundering controls and know-your-customer practices harnessed by Global Gaming.

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The gambling operator made several legal attempts to have Spelinspektionen’s decision overturned, but every time courts ruled in favor of the regulator.

Last month, Spelinspektionen called on Sweden-facing online payment companies to stop processing money to and from gambling operators that are not licensed in the country as any such actions can have serious consequences for local gambling customers and the regulated industry and can be actually used to mask illegal financial activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing.

In a letter addressed to all online payment service providers that service the Swedish market, the gambling regulator said that payment companies that process unregulated gambling money might be “guilty of violating” the Scandinavian nation’s new gambling law.

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