Tuesday July 16,2013 :  ABB SAYS EU DIRECTIVE UNWORKABLE
 
Ridiculous proposal says chief of UK bookmakers association
 
Chief Executive of the Association of British Bookmakers Dirk Vennix said new anti-money laundering measures proposed by the European Commission are not viable.
 
The proposed Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive would require bookmakers to scan customer’s passports and record their personal data for any single transaction over Euro 2000 or GBP 1700 and this information would be required to be made available for a period of five years.  Bookmakers may also be required to install player card systems to monitor bets placed in other branches of the same chain.
 
Vennix said the measures could cost betting shops up to GBP 100 million in equipment installation and storage costs.  "This is a ridiculous proposal – they simply haven’t thought it through. It’s unworkable, unnecessary and disproportionate,” he said.
 
Aside from the cost implications, Vennix told MEP's in Brussels that the proposed measures would cause chaos on a busy day as punters placing bets two minutes prior to the start of a race would have to be put on hold while the bookmaker scanned a passport, asked the relevant questions and added the punter trying to place a GBP 1700 bet to the customer register.
 
“The number of people betting at these levels is actually very small and hardly any people try to launder money through betting shops anyway," Vennix said.
 
“Last year we had 250 inquiries from police investigating suspicious transactions, from 1.5 billion transactions which took place. And just 89 of the UK’s 230,000 money laundering cases related to LBOs. That’s a minute number.
 
“LBOs are responsible businesses, subject to national legalization to prevent money laundering, and there is absolutely no evidence to suggest money laundering is an issue for UK betting-shop operators.”
 
Scheduled to be approved in early 2014, the EU proposal would require member states to put the directive into effect within two years.