European Union updates laws against money launderingRecently the European Parliament voted in favour of passing draft legislation to make money laundering more difficult. This updated legislation could make it less likely that unscrupulous online casino operators would be able to become involved in money laundering. The European Parliament’s Justice and Home Affairs and Economic and Monetary Affairs committees passed the draft legislation which will require all owners of internet casinos to be named in public registers that can be accessed all across Europe. The legislation does not just cover owners of gambling websites but also requires more transparency from companies, trusts and foundations.

The purpose of the draft legislation is to update efforts to prevent tax evasion and at the same time to demand more transparency from those involved in online gambling and also other companies by having a written record of those involved in such businesses. Under the legislation, banks, lawyers, estate agents as well as casino operators are required to watch out for any suspect transactions that their clients may carry out. This increased vigilance should make it more difficult to conceal illegal deals and tax evasion. The ability to remain anonymous would no longer exist if all companies, not just public limited companies have to register all owners by law.Each European Union member state will have the right to decide which areas of the gambling industry will be affected by the new laws. Casinos come under the new draft laws but each country will have the possibility to exclude those gambling services that they consider to be a low risk.
The updated legislation should make it easier for all the European Union member states to identify and prevent money laundering and any attempts to finance terrorism since the registers containing information on all of the business’ owners would be interlinked. While the Europe wide registers would be available to any identified person to access information on company owners, checks are in place to make sure that the right to privacy is also protected. Now it remains to be seen how the second reading of the draft legislation during the next term of the European Parliament will turn out.