Better training in basic anti-money laundering (AML) principles is needed within the iGaming industry according to Regulatory and Forensic Consultant, Lawrence Hanlin, from KPMG in the Isle of Man and Gibraltar. Hanlin was the main speaker at a well-attended KPMG seminar on AML and taxation for the iGaming industry hosted by Senior Manager Russell Mifsud at the Hilton in St Julian’s. During the seminar, Hanlin outlined the good, the bad and the ugly of the iGaming industry.
Among the ugly side of iGaming was the risk of failing crucial compliance procedures, often caused by lack of training among staff. Hanlin said that employees only have limited knowledge of basic AML principles, the role of the Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO), and what politically exposed persons (PEPs) are. Other challenges arise due to non-qualified MLROs, as well as insufficient support for compliance procedures from company boards. According to Hanlin, these issues all stem from the same source: the reward over risk mentality facilitated by bonus systems within iGaming companies.
On the bad side, Hanlin emphasised the issues and risks that iGaming companies are facing. He identified VAT and tax changes or breaches as the top risks, closely followed by cybercrime, regulatory change, mobile solution development, and data theft.
On the good side, Hanlin highlighted the visibility of the newly created Gambling Anti-Money Laundering Group (GAMLG) in the UK. He also said that there is a growing awareness within the iGaming industry that regulations are indeed important. Another positive aspect mentioned was the impressive technological development taking place within iGaming companies.
The second module of the seminar was led by Juanita Brockdorff, Kadambari Chari and Osarugue Obayuwana from KPMG. They delivered a detailed and comprehensive update on the country-by-country tax reporting standard. The global reporting standard recently introduced by the OECD and the EU requires multinational enterprises to file a comprehensive group tax report in every jurisdiction of operation. The seminar was concluded with a session where attendees were asked to answer queries on tax and reporting standards while throwing a catchbox microphone around the room.