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KSA warns operators over “insufficient” AML compliance

| By Robert Fletcher
Dutch regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has warned online gambling licensees after noting some were “insufficiently” complying with obligations in the country’s Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act (Wwft).

Licensees in the Netherlands are required to adhere to regulations set out in the Wwft, but an investigation by KSA and data from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU-the Netherlands) found certain rules were not being properly followed.

Setting out its findings, the KSA said some operators were failing to check customers’ origin of money, saying many licensees only saw a reason to carry out these checks when players make a deposit in excess of €2,500 (£2,097/$2,627).

However, the KSA made the point that spending this amount of money on games of chance is only possible for a few people noting how the average net monthly salary in the country is approximately €2,500.

“The KSA therefore expects licence-holders to conduct earlier research; this is important from the point of view of preventing gambling addiction and money laundering,” the KSA said, adding it would initiate further investigations into two licensees in response to its findings.

The regulator also noted insufficient compliance with regulations related to the reporting of unusual transactions. Licensees are required to report transactions of €15,000 or more in a 24-hour period and other unusual movements to FIU-the Netherlands, but the KSA said this was not the case with some operators. 

The regulator also noted that many unusual transactions are not being reported as quickly as possible. Licence conditions in the country state such transactions must be reported within 14 days.

In response to its finding, the KSA sent a warning to all licensees active within the country’s regulated online gambling market to highlight these shortcomings. The regulator noted that if further investigation shows these issues continue, it has the power to impose sanctions.

The warning comes after the KSA last month launched an investigation into gambling advertising that may be targeting minors and young people between the ages of 18 and 24.

The KSA stressed that this sort of advertising, which includes promoting bonus offers to young people, is prohibited, adding that young people are “especially vulnerable” to gambling addiction.

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