On Tuesday 7th May, an updated version of the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) was issued which introduced new age and identity verification rules. The main changes are as follows:
- New licence condition 17 which sets out minimum requirements for identity verification
- Change to the social responsibility code provisions 3.2.11 for age verification for remote betting and gaming
- Social responsibility code provisions 3.2.13 for age verification for some remote lotteries
Affected operators must from the 7th May, have verified the name, address and date of birth of any customer and will need to have completed this before allowing a customer to gamble. Unverified customers must not gamble.
The GC has also published important new framework for measuring gambling harm amongst children and young people which gives a better understanding of the ways that harms from gambling can impact upon the health relationships and finances of young people. The launch of this new framework comes a week after the commission launched the new national strategy to reduce gambling harm.
The GC has also been busy meeting with a number of operators to discuss anti-money laundering policies and procedures and what is expected of the operator by the GC. These meetings are not strictly classed as formal inspections and are part of a wider GC approach to inform operators as to what is expected. No doubt those operators who have been through regulatory proceedings with the GC will have experienced the range of questions asked by GC officers and it will be interesting to see how those operators who have not been through any similar proceedings deal with the issues raised in the meetings.
GC officers are very clear on a number of key points:
- Responsibility for compliance sits both corporately and individually. The Board of Directors have responsibility as of course does any compliance committee and MLRO but also those with personal management licences who are in senior positions which may not qualify as key qualifying positions have individual responsibility to ensure compliance.
- Customer interactions remain poor, both in the recording of them and the quality of the interaction. It is simply not enough to say “spoke to Brian and everything okay” as both the conversation with “Brian” and the recording of it should be more detailed.
- Operators are still not differentiating between source of wealth and source of funds. Source of wealth does not show where the funds come from and once trigger limits have been hit, operators are expected to have personal bank statements from customers showing that funds are coming out of a personal bank account and that there is sufficient funds in the bank account.
- Keeping up to date with all changes and requirements is still not up to the standards expected. All staff but in particular, all licensed staff are expected to regularly keep themselves up to date with any changes to regulations but also with any GC cases and operators should learn from GC reports of ongoing cases which can be found on their website.
- The role of the MLRO and those involved in the wider AML team has changed significantly and greater resource is required to enable the MLRO and their team to ensure compliance with the regulations away from any commercial pressures.
All of the above means that it remains a very challenging team for the industry which must learn to adapt and evolve its policies and procedures so as to ensure compliance and avoid regulatory action and sanctions.