The Lithuanian Gambling Supervision Service, running under the Ministry of Finance, has issued updated ‘know-your-customer’ guidelines in an effort to limit money laundering attempts. These guidelines will highlight the factors that gambling operators must consider when they initially assess new players and their transactions. Lithuania's betting sites will of course be part of this new approach.
The purpose is to minimise the risk of possible money laundering as well as terrorist financing. In that direction, operators must check all registrations to see if a player is a politically vulnerable person, or resident of a country which has been characterised as high-risk by the European Commission. For such players, their source of funds will have to be double checked, and also be backed by reliable evidence, such as public data registers.
In addition, all players will be categorised in different risk groups. These will be formed based on criteria like the size of transactions they conduct or have conducted, possible past suspicious transactions, attempts to present a non-identity document or to avoid registration or identification of transactions.
In the Gambling Supervision Service representative's words: “The company should try to get as much information as possible from the client. Such information should be collected prudently and efforts should be made to verify the information provided by the client. All information provided by the client must be confidential and carefully protected in accordance with the law and the company’s procedures.”.
This set of guidelines comes after a government risk assessment had recently deemed the GSA to be ill-equipped to deal with the threat of money laundering through casinos, while making it clear that the remote gambling sector is ‘high risk’ for such practices.