|Critics of the online gaming industry have been gifted new ammunition by the recent furore surrounding the money laundering bill which passed through congress last week.|
The bill is designed to prevent money reaching terrorist organisations through money-laundering operations. A proposal to include restrictions upon online gaming as part of the bill was briefly discussed and then dropped to ease the bill’s path through the house.
Although the proposals were dropped, concern about money laundering within the online industry remain, and some say that it remains an easy way to wash dirty money.
Rep. James Leach R-Iowa described online gaming as having “the greatest potential for money-laundering in the world.”
Online Gambling critics argue that money-launderers can make a deposit, gamble a small amount, and then ask for the return of the remainder of the deposit.
Industry supporters disagree, citing the gamblers ties to their account number as a way of making transactions difficult to hide, in contrast to land-based casinos where cash is often followed by a shadowy audit trail.
“The only way of getting your funds to an Internet casino or an Internet bookmaker is to pay the casino by credit card or transfer it by bank transfer,” explained SSP International MD Peter Andersson, “When you want your money out you have it the same way, so all the transactions are actually pretty transparent.”
Doubtless this new suspicion of online casinos can only mean even more advances in security and identification technology, something that the industry has been continually investigating and investing in since it began.