An industry leader in compliance within the financial services sector is once again among the first to adapt to a changing regulatory landscape. This time around, attorney Cheryl Bazard has undertaken critical training in the gaming industry, specifically online and mobile betting.
The founding president of the Bahamas Association of Compliance Officers (BACO), Mrs Bazard recently completed the Specialist Certificate in Money Laundering Risk in Betting and Gaming course from the London-based International Compliance Association (ICA).
“Failing to adapt to the evolution of regulatory changes is asking to fail as a compliance officer,” said Mrs Bazard, the Director of Compliance at Scotiabank (Bahamas) Limited.
In 2013, Atlantis brought on stream its mobile casino which allows the resort’s guests to wager on a number of casino games and sporting events while on property from wireless enabled personal computing devices, including tablets and smart phones. It marked the first time The Bahamas offered mobile gaming to tourists.
Late last year, a historic gambling bill and its accompanying regulations were passed in Parliament, legalizing the web shop industry. Previous reports suggested the local web shop industry had a gross turnover of about $400 million, or over $1 million a day.
According to figures released by PricewaterhouseCoopers, spending in the US gaming market is projected to hit $73.3 billion this year.
Online and mobile betting might have freed gamers from being tied to the casino floor, but it has also made it significantly more challenging to ensure that participants within the industry are operating within regulatory requirements.
“The size of the digital and traditional gaming industry, the sheer volume of transactions and the larger number of participants brings with it exponential complexities,” said Mrs Bazard. “This course provides one with the opportunity to understand the relevant money laundering and terrorist financing risks and how best to manage them.”
The course covered areas such as offshore gaming, determining suspicious transactions, dealing with high net worth individuals, politically exposed persons (PEP) risks, corruption and capital flight, and risk identification and management.
“As compliance practitioners, it is vital that we continue to understand the growing regulatory landscapes and ensure that we equip ourselves through education in order to protect our institutions and by extension, the country from the dangers of money laundering and terrorism financing activities,” says Mrs Bazard.