Sunday January 25 ,2015 : ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING CRACKDOWN COULD IMPACT U.S. POKER
Bids to restrict messenger betting could affect staking and investment in players.
Professional poker players in major tournaments, especially in the USA, who sell part of their action to investors who are not themselves playing, could be impacted by the recent clampdown on anti-money laundering by the US Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
The watchdog has recently issued warnings to American gambling companies regarding the dangers of money laundering and the concealment of sources of gambling money, and in response Nevada lawmakers have crafted an amendment to state law in bill SB40 that will specifically ban "messenger betting" – the placing of bets through a third party resident in Nevada.
Gambling companies are already required by federal law to notify the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network on any cash bets over $10,000.
Another federal law – the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act – restricts sports betting to just four US states, with Nevada enjoying the most latitude. That has resulted in a situation in which punters in other states where sports betting is illegal try to place bets in Nevada through third parties…hence the messenger bet, which the Treasury is worried may be exploited by money launderers.
Nevada's state Gaming Control Board is driving SB40 in order to comply with federal government requirements, and it seeks to obviate messenger betting by beefing up the existing requirement that any person or entity accepting a bet on behalf of another must comply with regulations and be licensed by the state.
SB40 does this by extending the scope of the existing law to any unauthorised person or entity who financially benefits from third-party betting activity or receives "…directly or indirectly, any compensation or reward, or any percentage or share of the money or property played."
On the face of it that would appear to embrace your action-selling poker players, and perhaps even revenue-sharing affiliate marketers…and the amending bill makes the offence a felony, with tough punitive provisions.