Great Britain Gambling Commission signs MOU with AUSTRAC to further combat the risks of financial crime

AUSTRAC[1] and Great Britain’s Gambling Commission (the “Commission”) have announced the signing of a regulatory Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will enable the sharing of regulatory and compliance information between both agencies in order to improve and strengthen the international financial system against transnational crime, including money laundering, terrorism financing, corruption and other serious crimes.

This MOU is one in a long line of other MOUs that the Commission has agreed with other regulators around the world[2].

The Commission’s Executive Director, Mr Richard Watson, welcomed the enhanced cooperation and information sharing that this MOU will provide between the two agencies.

AUSTRAC CEO, Ms Nicole Rose PSM said the MOU is an important step in the fight against financial and serious crimes, and confirmed the commitment by both agencies to the exchange of financial intelligence information.

AUSTRAC confirmed that it also intends to sign MOUs with other regulators in the United Kingdom in early 2020, including the Financial Conduct Authority and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs; reflecting Ms Rose’s view that “financial crime is a global issue … it is critical we work together with our international partners to tackle this issue”.

This announcement arrives hot on the heels of:

  1. the updated Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (S.I. 2017/692),[3] which came into force on 10 January 2020 with immediate effect; and
  2. the Commission’s 5th edition of its guidance for remote and non-remote casinos on the prevention of money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism[4], which it published on 10 January 2020 and which comes into force immediately.

You can read the AUSTRAC press release in full here.

[1] AUSTRAC (the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) is Australia’s financial intelligence unit and its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulator. You can read more about what AUSTRAC does here.

[2] This includes, amongst others, MOUs with the Portuguese gambling regulator Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SIRJ), the French gambling regulator ARJEL and the Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen.

[3] The amendments are made by EU Directive 2018/843 (the “Amending Directive”) to EU Directive 2015/849 (the “Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive”).

[4] The Commission’s guidance can be found here.