Bet365 is assisting British authorities in a fight against money laundering spreading through online gambling.
Gambling laws in the UK have been significantly overhauled over the last few years in order to keep them current with the state of the gambling industry. This has included both remote and non-remote operators and extended right across every sector of the industry from bookies to bingo.
One of the reasons for these regulations to be revisited so frequently is that the developments within the industry are moving at an exponential rate as online gambling becomes less local and more global. Differences between nation’s legislative frameworks and laws provide ample room for criminal advantage to be taken.
Criminals use online gambling in order to hide the proceeds of their illegal activities, be they bank robbery or malware distribution, and this money laundering is now a greater threat than ever as it is used by those seeking to finance not merely criminal but terrorist activity.
The responses to this growing problem are as numerous as the illegal unlicensed sites that wantonly avoid all legal requirements and regulations by hiding amongst the fog of information on the internet. By use of virtual currencies and virtual private networking the criminals are thus far one step ahead.
Legal online gambling sites help eradicate money laundering
• Operators under British gambling laws help fight money laundering
• Renowned gambling giant, Bet365, is one of such operators
• Laws and regulations in other countries are being updated too
The issues surrounding money laundering are obviously wide ranging and don’t necessarily center on the online gambling industry but the nature of interface between technology and an market sector that deals in vast quantities of money means that is does warrant special attention.
This is something legitimate operators understand and wish to assist with as the illegal operators don’t merely help finance terrorism and criminal behavior but also do business without paying tax or license fees making them a very advantaged economic competitor. Obviously one the legitimate online gambling industry doesn’t want or need.
The main difficulty is the lag that occurs between the technological advances of which the criminals take advantage and the procedures and frameworks in place to regulate the use of that technology. The rise of virtual networking and virtual currencies have led to real world problems that nations are finding hard to combat.
Both Canada and Spain are in the process of updating their laws and regulations with legislation being brought before parliament. These moves, whilst not by any means being in tandem, show that nations separated by oceans are working on precisely the same issues.
The Spanish are making it a requirement to identify winners of sizable amounts or those that make repeated wins. This will make it more difficult for criminals to “cash out” as it were and the closer monitoring of virtual currencies and those who use them will doubtless be of assistance.
Meanwhile in Canada the pre-existing anti-money laundering laws are being broadened and expanded to cover online casinos in Canada in an effort to remove the ability for criminals to use their gambling industry as a forest of finances to hide in.
In the UK the Gambling Commission has been working with Bet365 in order to identify and isolate the areas in which current regulations and laws fail to close the gaps that criminals and terrorists are exploiting. This investigation has produced some positive results.
Senior management at Bet365 are leading the way by taking steps to ensure that their site isn’t used as a money laundry, an example some of their competitors could learn from, and are calling on the industry as a whole to assist in what is rapidly becoming a trans-national issue.
With new best practice procedures in place it is hoped that the criminal activity of a few won’t be allowed to tarnish the industry that provides so much entertainment to so many. It remains to be seen if that desire to combat money laundering and the crime it finances can be effectively spread across the world leaving them with no hiding place.