The UK’s gambling regulator has clarified its rules for digital currencies.

In an update to its codes of practice issued this July, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) outlined how licensees can implement appropriate policies for so-called cash equivalents, a definition under which digital currencies are captured.

The policy change appears to have occurred largely without fanfare, to date drawing only recent interest from gambling industry news sources such as Esports Observer.

Though short on details, the UKGC advises that the intention of the updated language is to protect consumers and mitigate financial crimes such as money laundering.

The report reads:

“Licensees, as part of their internal controls and financial accounting systems, must implement appropriate policies and procedures concerning the usage of cash and cash equivalents (eg bankers drafts, cheques and debit cards and digital currencies) by customers, designed to minimize the risk of crimes such as money laundering, to avoid the giving of illicit credit to customers and to provide assurance that gambling activities are being conducted in a manner which promotes the licensing objectives.”

The update is scheduled to come into force on 31st October.

Notably, the comments come just a month after the UKGC highlighted digital currencies as an “area for continuing focus” in its latest annual report.

At the time, the UKGC indicated its plans to continue weighing how digital currencies would fall under its mandate to ensure fair gaming practices.

Gaming table image via Shutterstock

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