Any asset that can be bought and sold within a short frame is very lucrative to money launderers. Hence, it is common to see Precious Metals, art, cars and even real estate being used for money laundering. Online electronic online casino payments methods like E-Bay and PayPal too are becoming common venues. Apart from these, even casinos, especially, online casinos too have become a popular means for the money laundering. The approximate value of money laundering practice worldwide is estimated to be between 2 to 5 % of global GDP.
Money laundering is carried out with the purpose of reducing the prosecution for a criminal offence by minimizing the evidentiary basis for a crime and to make it look as if the property has a legitimate source. The online casinos too are being widely used by launderers and have been identified as a potential mechanism for money laundering where transactions run much higher than $8 million at any casino or even much higher than that.
As per the numbers involved with the approximate amount of money being laundered at online casinos, due to the omnipresent nature of the activity, it is almost impractical to get to the accurate statistics. Online gambling activity occurs all over the world. It is legalized in some countries while still illegal in some. Therefore it is nearly impossible to get to the actual amount of money involved. Nevertheless, laundering money at a casino does take place.
The online financial institutions like credit unions and chartered banks and any deposit-taking institutions offer the greats risk in money laundering. Still very little is known as to what extent exactly are the casinos being used for money laundering. But according to some experts, online casinos are increasingly being used as a vehicle for money laundering. Btu still, so far, there has been no evidence to prove this.
It is well known that criminals avoid places where they can easily get caught. Countries like United States and Canada are heavily regulated and have sophisticated surveillance systems in place round the clock to check money laundering. But recent surveys reveal that suspicious activities at online casinos have rise by about 20/%. Gamblers often cash out immediately after minimal play or hitting jackpot frequently which is again a convenient laundering method at casinos. There may not be evidence pointing directly to money laundering at casinos but there is evidence of casino employees detecting and reporting suspicious transactions at U.S. casinos that point strongly to money laundering.
By Victoria Jacobs
(Received this article via email to be published on amlabc.com)