Amendments to the Games of Chance Law

On the 23 December 2019, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted Amendments to Games of Chance Law (“Law”), which aims to improve regulatory framework of prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing within the games of chance realm.

The amendments bring new 12 articles, with the purpose of harmonization of the Law with EU Directive 2015/849 as of 20 May 2015, EU Directive 2018/843 as of 30 May 2018 and Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, all with the aim of prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Law became effective on the 31 December 2019, and the introduced changes refer to the following:

The Law, foremost, introduces the definition of ultimate beneficial owner and associates, with the aim of preventing game organizers being in direct or indirect ownership or under the control of persons who have been under criminal investigation or convicted or in breach of regulations governing the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing. The organizers will be obliged to submit financial statements and audit reports for shareholders, with proof that management, shareholders, beneficial owners and their associates have not been under criminal investigation or convicted.

In the procedure for obtaining approval for games of chance, the organizer must elaborate on the methods by which they will prevent any undesirable influence on games of chance, such as unauthorized use of the system, the method of data protection, the registration procedure, the method for blocking internet content, and measures for denying non-account holders and minors access to the system.

Finally, the law also introduces additional measures for casino operators to request written statements from each client confirming their participation in casino games is in their own name and on their own behalf.