From regulations to money laundering - SiGMA invited a number of seasoned professionals to engage in various grappling panel discussions
The SiGMA Europe Virtual Expo presents an innovative new Virtual platform where you can enjoy and learn about what is going on in the gaming industry from the comfort of your own home.
We will take a look at the panel on regulations, focusing on Malta trends in anti-money laundering and regulatory enforcement, Sweden and the UK as well as the impact of market liberalisation in Ukraine.
All over the world we are seeing new restrictions being enforced either due to the current pandemic, suspicious and illegal behaviour or in relation to responsible gambling awareness. These newly imposed restrictions are causing huge changes in the gaming industry, especially in prominent markets like Malta, Sweden and the UK.
For the past years, regulatory bodies and commissions have really stamped their authority on the gaming industry especially with new harsh restrictions which really effect the way gaming companies function. Malta has seen their regulatory body, the MGA, really crack down on the market, especially when it comes to money laundering. This comes after Malta were subject to "Moneyval" evaluation that caused a lot of changes, even though "Moneyval were impressed with the gaming industry and their audits." Therefore, with these changes comes uncertainty as Manfred Galdes (right) clearly states:
"All of these changes have triggered, I would say, a certain level of uncertainty, a certain level of concern, certain reactions within the market due to the lack of clarity as - what to expect now? ... what exactly is going to happen?"
It will be interesting to see how Malta will react to these changes as Dr. Ekaterina Alexandrova Hartmann (pictured right) also makes it clear that all eyes are on the island, especially to see the result of the Moneyval report:
"Our industry is so closely connected to Malta, also the perception of the regulators and the international bodies - for us it is very important what Malta is doing and we are looking a lot what Malta are doing. The moneyval report will be crucial how Malta will be viewed on the concept of AML and on a wider context in Brussels."
Moreover, Malta is not the only country going under major changes. Sweden, the UK and Ukraine are also experiencing major changes to their markets. Ukraine are finally opening up their market which will see operators require simpler conditions to function than other jurisdictions as their "the main goal was to develop such a law to allow the market to be launched quickly."
Meanwhile, the UK and Sweden are seeing more changes related to responsible gambling. The UKGC for the past few months have really made it shown that they are taking responsible gaming very seriously. Most recently, the UKGC imposed restrictions on loss limits on players per month - introducing a £100 limit a month on losses. Furthermore, there seems to be an imminent Gambling Act review in the UK, which will see more restrictions imposed on operators. Nick Nocton (left) feels that "the idea that everybody should have a fixed limit, whilst attractive to regulators, it is very very unwielding and not conducive to a regulated market." Sweden are also experiencing the same type of restrictions with log in limits and welcome bonuses all extended till June 2021, among others.
Lastly, it also seems like the EU will be enforcing a new regulation for anti-money laundering according to Dr. Ekaterina Alexandrova Hartmann
"The European Commission will change the rules on AML... Everyone in Brussels is calling for stricter rules, a stricter approach, a more unified approach so we will have new legislation on AML that will be stricter."
This will be interesting to see how it pans out as this will mean that there won't be any leeway for member states to decide on AML implementation as there will be a single set of rules for all.
About SiGMA Europe Virtual Expo:
The future of events is here. SiGMA Europe is delighted to announce, for the very first time, an innovative new Virtual Expo taking place on 24th and 25th November, 2020, from the comfort of your own screen. Hot on the heels of the success of the SiGMA Asia and SiGMA Americas Digital Summits, we are elevating your online event experience even further in the form of a fully interactive, state-of-the-art virtual events space, including a brand-new cutting-edge expo floor. Check the full agenda here and register for free!