Receipts from betting shops are used by criminals to justify the amounts of money they carry on them.
British betting operators and local police admit criminals are using fixed odds betting machines (FOBTs) for money-laundering. At the same time, business owners say their betting shops would simply have to close down if it wasn’t for the huge profits made from these high-stake gambling machines.
Operators licensed under British gambling laws are required to adhere to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and keep an eye out for customers suspected of money-laundering. While fully aware of the problem in front of them, bosses say there is little they can do about it.
FOBTs, a growing social problem
Anti-gambling machine campaigners consider FOBTs to be a growing social problem. Even bookmakers admit they can cause addiction, not to mention they are becoming increasingly popular among young people. According to Gary Dale, shop manager at David James Racing: “People become addicted and we have had a number of people who have self-excluded themselves.”
Recent gambling news report employees have been told to watch out for customers spending large amounts of cash on electronic gambling machines. After losing some of their “dirty” money, drug dealers cash out with the majority of their stake and get a receipt they can use to justify their earnings, in case they are stopped by the police.
A spokesman for Gloucestershire Police added: “We are aware that gambling can be used as a means of laundering money and remain vigilant to such activity coming to light in this county.”