Gambling Regulations and Social Responsibility
Interim Code for Affordability Checks in Anti-Money Laundering Expected Soon, says Racing Post.

Interim Code for Affordability Checks in Anti-Money Laundering Expected Soon, says Racing Post.

The industry-led code, which aims to establish standard rules for when bettors must provide proof of affordability to bookmakers, is currently being trialled. The code has been anticipated for several weeks, with delays attributed to issues related to anti-money laundering checks. It is understood that work on an anti-money laundering code is being conducted concurrently with the interim code for affordability checks. BHA chairman Joe Saumarez Smith has communicated concerns to gambling minister Stuart Andrew and secretary of state Lucy Frazer regarding the need for social responsibility to be reflected in changes to the AML code.

According to the government’s proposals outlined in a white paper in April of the previous year, bettors would undergo affordability checks if they experience a net loss of just £125 over 30 days or £500 in a year. Enhanced checks would be triggered if a punter records a net loss of £1,000 in 24 hours, or £2,000 within 90 days, and would involve more detailed scrutiny of their finances. The Gambling Commission has specified that the checks will initially be implemented at a higher threshold for a brief period before reverting to a lower threshold later in the year. Additionally, a four-to-six month pilot of enhanced checks is planned to ensure they are seamless for punters.

The industry-led code, designed to apply during the interim period, aims to alleviate what has been described as onerous and inconsistent checks currently being applied by operators. More details of the code emerged recently following a story in the Sun newspaper. It has been reported that enhanced checks would be triggered at higher levels of £5,000 a month and £25,000 in a year under the interim code. These figures are deemed accurate and are applicable to net deposits, with lower limits for 18-to-24-year-olds.

However, anti-money laundering checks are activated at lower levels, with the Gambling Commission’s guidance stipulating that identification and verification are required when a customer deposits or withdraws funds amounting to €2,000 or more. Discussions are ongoing about the reform of the levy system in racing and betting. Gambling minister Stuart Andrew is expected to report to parliament on progress by April 24.

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