What is it?

A recent discussion from the KPMG eSummit Virtual Series featuring the Malta Gaming Authority and the government’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit, entitled Current themes in AML/CFT – Insights from the Regulators.

Who’s talking?

Alex Azzopardi, Director, Risk Consulting Advisory, KPMG Malta
Kenneth Farrugia, Director, Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit
Joseph Attard, Head of Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering and MLRO, Malta Gaming Authority

What are they saying?

The contributors cover a range of issues, including:

  • Emerging trends, risks and threats
  • Best practices for monitoring and supervision
  • Common pitfalls and shortcomings
  • The need for strong policies, procedures, IT-driven controls and human intervention
  • Increased levels of collaboration between the MGA and FIAU
  • The importance of employing and empowering independent MLROs
  • The benefits of third-party AML/CFT audits and assessments

“The licence-holder cannot risk its reputation and business by leaving operations open to be used to channel funds for illegal purposes,” said Kenneth Farrugia of the FIAU. “We have seen huge investment by remote gaming operators to prevent these instances.”

Joseph Attard, Head of Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering and MLRO at the MGA, added: “There are inherent risks that operators have to deal with that are unique to the gaming industry. Two of the main risks that operators need to be aware of are jurisdictional and related to the deliver channels.

“Remote gaming has a lot of cross-border activity, so it’s very easy to log in to a gaming website from another jurisdiction and interact with the company. The wide range of channels and payment methods is also something that makes this sector unique. These should be priorities for gaming companies.”

Asked how the roles and responsibilities intertwine between the two bodies, the FIAU’s Attard explained: “Theres no evidence of overlapping procedures. The FIAU undertakes a risk assessment of the gaming sector and identifies a number of operators to undergo a AML/CFT funding examination.

“The role of the MGA then is to act as agent for the FIAU and conduct those investigations, independently or in conjunction with the FIAU. Following the examination a report is drafted and handed to the FIAU, and it is the FIAU that determines the findings in terms of breaches and sanctions, where appropriate. It is a harmonised process.”

Why should I watch it?

It’s a valuable insight into how these very influential regulatory bodies interact, as well as a summary of the key issues facing licence-holders, particularly those based in Malta. Watch it above or directly on YouTube here.

AML/CFT: Insight from the regulators