by Adam Dworak

Enhancing AML and CFT Compliance in Remote Gaming: Insights from Malta’s Latest Review

The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) have concluded a thematic review targeting the remote gaming sector’s adherence to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regulations.

This pivotal assessment involved 23 compliance examinations focusing on the sector’s Money Laundering Reporting Officers (MLROs) and personnel engaged in AML/CFT compliance roles.

The Role of Compliance Personnel in Remote Gaming

These key employees are instrumental in implementing effective controls to mitigate risks associated with money laundering and terrorism financing. Their understanding and application of AML/CFT measures are crucial for maintaining regulatory compliance and safeguarding the integrity of the gaming sector.

Objectives and Findings of the Review

The primary aim of this review was to pinpoint areas requiring enhancement, facilitate regulatory engagement, and offer sector-specific education to elevate practices in critical concern areas. The findings revealed a commendable grasp of essential AML/CFT principles among interviewees, including an understanding of regulations, risk-based approaches, outsourcing obligations, ongoing monitoring, and the intricacies of submitting suspicious activity reports.

Identified Areas for Improvement

Despite the solid foundational knowledge, the review highlighted the need for deeper awareness regarding administrative measures under the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations (PMLFTR). There exists an opportunity for gaming operators to deepen their understanding of inherent and residual risks specific to their operations.

The Call for Ongoing Training and Enhancement

The FIAU and MGA advocate for continuous training to ensure MLROs and relevant employees stay abreast of evolving AML/CFT obligations and the dynamic risks associated with their company’s operations and controls. Emphasizing the importance of this educational investment, gaming operators are encouraged to align their practices with the review’s key takeaways and integrate necessary improvements to bolster their compliance frameworks.

Our Comment on the Article

This thematic review underscores a critical juncture for Malta’s remote gaming sector in its ongoing efforts to fortify AML and CFT compliance measures. The commendable level of understanding displayed by MLROs and compliance personnel lays a solid foundation for further enhancements.

The emphasis on continuous education and awareness is a proactive step towards ensuring that the gaming industry not only meets but exceeds regulatory expectations, thereby contributing to a safer and more transparent gaming environment.

The collaborative approach adopted by the FIAU and MGA in conducting this review and disseminating its findings reflects a commitment to maintaining Malta’s reputation as a leading gaming jurisdiction that prioritizes the integrity and security of its operations.

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