Authorities in Lithuania have reportedly published a series of new know-your-customer rules for iGaming firms following the recent emergence of allegations that the small nation’s online gaming industry may have become an easy target for money launderers.
According to a Monday report from iGamingBusiness.com, the Gambling Supervision Service regulator revealed that the revised regulations have been designed to bring the local online gaming and lottery industries into line with the country’s Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Law. The source detailed that the guidelines moreover outline what factors such sectors should be considering when assessing business relationships and monetary transactions so as to help stamp out the threats posed by money laundering.
In terms of particular facets of the fresh know-your-customer directives, all lottery and iGaming operators in Lithuania will now be reportedly required to identify politically vulnerable or high-risk clients playing from abroad before applying a series of enhanced identification protocols and registrations. Such punters will therefore purportedly be required to hand over reliable independent data or documents like public registers so as to verify the source of the funds they are using to enjoy gambling entertainment.
The new rules also reportedly mandate that local companies carry out commensurate authentications on any business relationships they hold with non-domestic compatriots or individuals from nations identified by the European Commission as being a potential high-risk source of money laundering.
Finally, it was reported that the fresh Lithuanian directives furthermore mandate that all foreign iGaming and lottery customers be categorized according to a number of criteria including the nature, size and extent of their monetary transactions. Additional factors purportedly encompass the types of services purchased and whether a client has ever presented a suspicious or fraudulent document or taken actions to avoid registering or identifying the source of their funds.
Reportedly reads a section of Lithuania’s new know-your-customer guidelines…
“The company should try to get as much information as possible from the client. However, such information should be collected prudently and efforts should be made to verify the information provided by the client. All information provided by the client must be confidential and carefully protected in accordance with the law and the company’s procedures.”
One of the three Baltic states and home to approximately 2.8 million people, Lithuania reportedly signed a cooperation agreement earlier this year that is to see it move towards fully ratifying the European Union’s anti-match-fixing Macolin Convention. The small nation subsequently purportedly explained that its first-half aggregated gaming revenues had fallen by 15.9% year-on-year to around €43.8 million ($51.6 million) as issues associated with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic drove customers away from land-based gambling venues and towards the iGaming sector.