EU Parliament Approves Anti-Money Laundering Bill
The European Parliament voted and approved the first draft legislation of the amended anti-money laundering directive (AMLD). Two of the key concerns of the EU Parliament, and a driving factor behind this amended bill, are the evasion of taxes and in some cases, the flow of funds to terrorist organizations.
The AMLD aims at ensuring that the ultimate owners of trusts and companies will have to be listed in public registrars in EU countries. By ensuring that the actual owners of these companies are listed in these registrars, many businesses will no longer have anonymous owners that often evade taxes or are associated to criminal activity.
This move is sure to shake up many gambling companies and especially many online gambling company owners who to date have enjoyed the benefits of this anonymity. The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) is questioning why the online gambling industry is being singled out especially as the industry already applies stringent anti-money laundering and due diligence practices.
The draft bill still has a long way to go before it could be passed into law and even when it comes to the final vote, it could still be rejected. Koen Roovers, the EU advisor for the Financial Transparency Coalition, commented that currently there are way too many anonymous shell companies that are funneling money from illegal practices and embezzling from governments.