Irish Bookies Face Anti-Money Laundering Changes

New EU directive may force bookies to demand ID on bets in excess of Euro 2,000

Irish bookmakers may be required to turn away bets in excess of Euro 2,000 unless the punter produces ID when anti-money laundering regulations drafted by the European Union are implemented, according to a report in the Irish Independent.

The changes will have a major impact on the gambling industry regarding large bets and pay-outs, the newspaper notes, reporting that high street betting shops processed Euro 2.7 billion last year from customers who were not asked for ID.

The new EU directive covers all “providers of gambling services”, unlike previous rulings which only applied to casinos.

At present, bookmakers are exempt from having to apply controls against money laundering, or reporting any suspicious transactions.

The Independent claims that officials from several government departments have already held talks with the gambling industry to explore the implications of Know Your Customer measures. The Euro 2,000 rule is part of that discussion.

Online gambling and gaming arcade operators are to be included in the changes, which were scheduled for implementation on June 26 this year but delayed due to “ongoing negotiations” according to the Ministry of Finance.