Bring Up The Bodies, Malta Hits Unlucky Glitnor With Hefty AML Fine

Only days after telling the EU to back-off and asserting that it was more than capable of doing its own financial housekeeping, Malta has fined Lucky Casino operator Glitnor Group a hefty quarter-of-a-million euros for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist failures (AML-CTF).

Earlier this month, as reported in these pages, Malta’s parliament approved Bill 55, the Gaming Amendment Bill, that will allow Maltese courts to refute the recognition–and enforcement–of foreign legal judgements relating to the island’s all-important iGaming sector.

Sponsored by the Hon. Silvia Schembri MP, Minister for the Economy and European Funds, the bill rubber-stamped by Maltese President George Vella amended the country’s existing Gambling Act, which legislates and regulates the market.

Now in a compliance ruling that dates back to 2019, the Mediterranean island nation’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) has hit Malta Gaming Authority-registered Glitnor with a sanction of €236,789 (£203,142) for AML/ CTF failings.

The FIAU found B2C and B2B Glitnor–founded in 2018 and owner of the Lucky Casino, HappyCasino and Swintt brands–in breach of 10 provisions of the iGaming capital’s Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations.

“[We were] particularly concerned with the company’s issues when it [came] to ascertaining that the gaming activity entertained by it was in line with the customers’ funding abilities,” the FIAU said in a statement.

“The company’s inability, at times, to at least cross-check the players’ gaming activity against basic information on the employment and the inability to manage heightened risks of certain customers serviced by it was also a cause of concern.”

FIAU highlighted a case in which one player from a non-EU jurisdiction deposited €12,100 via prepaid cards (£10,380) – without withdrawing any winnings.

Glitnor failed to conduct enhanced checks on some individuals, ask for source-of-funds documentation, or employment details, said FIAU in its ruling.

“At least up until the compliance review, the failures observed confirm that [Glitnor did not give] due regard towards its AML/CFT obligations.”

Asserted Maltese gaming authorities: “ This case serves as a critical reminder for all entities within the sector to ensure complete compliance to avoid facing similar hefty penalties.”

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