Tuesday May 6,2014 : MONEY LAUNDERING VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE ON U.S. REGULATED ONLINE GAMBLING SITES
Placing a blanket ban on US internet gambling ignores the efficacy of American-regulated sites.
The respected US gambling journalist Steve Ruddock says in an op-ed article published by the information site Online Poker Report that there is little if any incentive for money launderers to use properly regulated US online poker sites for their criminal activity.
Ruddock debunks the much-hyped claims of Sheldon Adelson's Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling and other anti-online gambling activists that the genre is used by money laundering rings, pointing out that banning online gambling could encourage illegal operators who may not have the same high standards and could be more susceptible to the criminal activity.
Given the stringent requirements imposed on US legal gambling regulated sites, Ruddock argues: "There is simply no incentive for money launderers to choose regulated online poker to scrub their money. There are countless ways that this can be accomplished that are easier, cheaper, and leave less of a paper trail."
In support of his argument, Ruddock points out:
* KYC (know your customer) requirements insist on operators demanding proof of identity and age which includes the provision of accurate and provable details such as Social Security number, along with name, date of birth and address.
* There is no tangible evidence or data that demonstrates prohibition will work.
* Regulated markets that ring-fence their players make money laundering useless, as the players must be in the same state to even compete against one another, destroying the golden rule of money laundering – do it internationally.
* Regulations require compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act, through which any large deposit or withdrawal will be reported. Ruddock quotes Attorney Sanford Millar, who during his testimony at the recent California online poker hearing, told the committee, “Money laundering is not an issue for intrastate online poker…there are too many trails.”
He also notes that Tobin Prior of Ultimate Gaming says people claiming that technology to detect money laundering and run KYC checks doesn’t work were wrong… and evidence exists to prove the technology works.
* Regulated markets do not allow player-to-player transfers, and in any case players can no longer deposit or withdraw large sums of money unquestioned at US-legal sites.