WrB Africa: Leading the way on AML in Africa

WrB Africa: Leading the way on AML in Africa

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 Totally Gaming
Olusegun George will give attendees the latest on compliance issues at WrB Africa

Operators are victims of their own success in Africa as the sector’s exponential growth has made it a major target for universal crackdowns on corruption and fraud across the continent.

That is the view of Olusegun George, account director governance, risk and compliance (GRC) at Thomson Reuters, who will be a panellist at this year’s World Regulatory Briefing (WrB) Africa event.

George, who has amassed more than a decade’s worth of experience in operational risk and controls at companies such as Goldman Sachs and Dunn Loren Merrifield, warned companies that they should put compliance at the top of their priority list, not least as, unlike the European Union, countries across sub-Saharan Africa have very different regulatory frameworks in place.  

“Anti-money laundering (AML) has been a never-ending topic in a number of forums across multiple industries for a while, while many countries have embarked on anti-corruption drives,” George said.

“The gaming industry is one that has come to the forefront of the risk and compliance world due to its emergence as one of the fastest growing sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Ensuring compliance with AML laws is a key function of compliance departments within both online and physical casinos. The reputational damage caused by an inadvertent contravention can be severe, not to mention the sanctions that can be levied on both company and senior executives in the event that wrongdoing is proven.

“The worldwide dispersal of the online gaming community makes this a particular risk for online casinos, but physical casino groups with international operations are equally at risk. Overlapping jurisdictions and varying regulatory regimes compound the challenge for compliance departments requiring a thorough knowledge of the applicable laws and due diligence on customers’ background and known associates.”

George is to take part in a panel session entitled ‘AML and Sports Integrity’ at April’s WrB Africa, and said that he will offer attendees from across the world an update on the continent’s legislation, as well as the kind of penalties they can expect to pay should they transgress.

With reliable regulatory and market information on the gambling industry across Africa not always easily accessible, attendees can be sure that George will divulge all the latest information.

“Attendees of this session should look forward to not only leaving the session more informed about the pitfalls of the industry, but also the knock-on effects of non-compliance and the fines that could potentially imposed on operators," George said.

“They will also have the opportunity to interact with compliance and risk experts that could further enhance the industry as a whole by learning more about the methods used to conduct know your customer (KYC)/AML practices and the importance of such best practices.

“I am looking forward to the networking that will take place throughout the event as well as learning about the new trends within the industry and our local development. I am also keen to hear from our regulators on their insight of this developing industry as well as their plans for the future.”

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