KSA lambasts online operators for ‘insufficiently complying’ with AML requirements

The Dutch Gambling Authority, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has criticised online gambling operators in the country for failure to meet the standards of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act (Wwft).

Issuing a warning to licence holders, the KSA stated that ‘various obligations are insufficiently complied with’, after conducting its own investigation and analysing Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) data. 

Notably, the authority observed that online gaming firms have often only conducted checks in players’ sources of income when deposits have exceeded €2,500 – the average net monthly salary in the Netherlands – asserting that large gambling spends are ‘only possible for few people’.

“The KSA therefore expects licence holders to conduct earlier research,” the regulator explained. 

“This is important from the point of view of preventing gambling addiction (consumer protection) and money laundering (crime). The Ksa will initiate further investigations into two licence holders in response to the findings.”

Additionally, the KSA has also accused operators of failing to report all transactions to the FIU despite obligations to do so, particularly ‘unusual transactions’ such as those in excess of €15,000 in 24 hours. 

Lastly, the authority identified a final shortcoming with regards to unusual transactions, in that these are often not reported as quickly as possible – the current requirement is that transactions must be reported to the relevant authorities within at least 14 days. 

“The KSA has sent a warning to the online market pointing out the identified shortcomings, including those mentioned above,” the regulator concluded. “If further investigation shows that shortcomings continue, the KSA can impose sanctions.”

The investigation is the second such probe into the online gambling industry launched by the KSA in as many months, following an analysis of advertising that may be accessible by underage customers, which commenced last month

Advertising in general has fallen under the regulatory and political spotlight in the Netherlands since the launch of the country’s online betting market on 1 October, with some public figures calling for greater restrictions on the marketing techniques available to operators.

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