The US Treasury Department has proposed a new plan to combat money laundering. The plan involves closely monitoring all electronic money transfers to and from banks in the United States. The proposal has casino players worried about how the new plan might impact internet gambling in the United States.
Currently, American gambling laws do not outlaw online gambling, but they do make it difficult for players to fund their accounts. US players cannot use credit or debit cards to transfer money to and from online gambling sites, so they are forced to use third party banking services to fund their online accounts.
The US already monitors all international money transfers of $10,000 or higher. Banks are required by law to report them. But the proposed regulations would require banks to monitor all cross-border money transfers – including transfers of money made by American online casino players.
“By establishing a centralized database, this regulatory plan will greatly assist law enforcement in detecting and ferreting out transnational organized crime, multinational drug cartels, terrorist financing and international tax evasion,” said Director James Freis Jr. of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
Many are concerned on what impacts the proposed plan may have on privacy. Others believe the plan to be a waste of money – it would cost an estimated $30 million to set up the infrastructure required to handle the barrage of financial reports from banks and other money-transfer institutions like Western Union.
The concerns regarding a possible connection between the money transfer monitoring plan and internet gambling transactions are only speculative at this point. Such an infrastructure would certainly allow US authorities to watch out for online gambling transfers, but whether or not it the system will be used for such a purpose is not yet known.