The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has recently increased its assessment of terrorism financing risks within the gambling industry from low to medium. This change is based on a comprehensive evaluation of the latest Money Laundering (ML) and Terrorism Financing (TF) risks.

This decision marks a significant shift since the last evaluation in 2020. The aim is to provide the regulated gambling sector with valuable resources for enhancing their risk frameworks. UK licensees are now required to ensure the effective implementation and regular updates of their policies, procedures, and controls.

Although the overall money laundering threat level in the gambling sector remains low, there are variations in risk among different gaming activities. Remote casino, betting, and bingo activities are considered high-risk, while products such as the National Lottery have a low-risk classification.

The terrorism financing risk has been elevated to a medium level overall, following a thorough re-evaluation by the UKGC in collaboration with counter-terrorism specialists. The previous low-classification was deemed insufficient.

Noteworthy adjustments have also been made to specific gaming activities. For example, the risk associated with high-value customers and VIP schemes in iGaming has been diminished.

Additionally, the UKGC has introduced new risk considerations, including the evaluation of organized crime gangs posing as customers, the exploitation of vulnerable individuals’ gambling accounts (mule accounts), and the failure to implement a closed-loop system.

The UKGC has also classified practices such as smurfing and peer-to-peer betting as high-risk activities, underlining the increasing nature of remote betting.

In response to these findings, the commission has launched a confidential online service for reporting criminal and suspicious activities related to gambling. They encourage individuals with information on various activities to come forward and submit supporting channels.

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