Gambling Commission backs new Economic Crime Plan

26 July 2019

The GB Gambling Commission has given its endorsement to the UK Government’s new Economic Crime Plan, which sets out plans to combat industry-related issues, such as money laundering and terrorist financing.

The plan, which will run from 2019 to 2022, covers seven priority areas that were agreed in January by the Economic Crime Strategic Board, the ministerial level, public-private board tasked with setting the UK’s strategic priorities for combatting economic crime.

These include developing a better understanding of the threat of economic crime and the Government’s own performance in combatting crime, as well as pursuing greater sharing and usage of information to tackle crime.

The Government is also keen to ensure the powers, procedures and tools of law enforcement, the justice system and private sector are as effective as possible, and could take action to strengthen such capabilities in order to better detect, deter and disrupt economic crime.

There are also plans to build greater resilience to economic crime by enhancing the management of crime risk in the private sector and the risk-based approach to supervision, as well as improve the systems for transparency of ownership of legal entities and legal arrangements.

In addition, the Government is seeking to deliver what it has described as an “ambitious international strategy” to enhance security, prosperity and the UK’s global influence.

The plan features roles for a number of UK-facing organisations and regulatory bodies, including the Gambling Commission, which has been singled out for two focus areas in particular.

First, the Commission will promote digital identity services, with the regulator and other organisations work with the Treasury on the scheme, covering issues such as money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Commission will also play a role in enhancing overseas capabilities, with a focus on helping other countries tackle economic crime and illicit finance, as well as sharing and developing best practice.

As part of this, the Commission will work with the Financial Conduct Authority and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs on international engagement and assistance in business planning for the sharing of best practice.

This will include developing links between professional body supervisors to help share understanding of risk, best practice and the UK’s experience in regulating professionals.

“Gambling operators will play a vital role in assisting the Commission, and the UK Government realise this step-change plan for combating economic crime in the UK, and we urge operators to pay close attention to the plan and amend their risk assessments, policies and other controls where necessary,” the Commission said in a statement.