Online gambling disguises money-laundering

Anuradha Shukla

Online gambling disguises money-laundering activities, according to a newly released study from McAfee.

Online gambling involves huge volumes of transactions and cash flows, which makes it difficult for authorities to track the flow of money. More than 25,000 unregulated gambling websites are operating around the world right now making it very difficult for local authorities to monitor their activities.

No physical product or exchange of currency is involved in online gambling that operates across several jurisdictions. Also, all casino operators are trained to support anonymity of players.

Gambling winnings are tax-free in many jurisdictions, and thus mandatory reporting to governments is not required in these cases.

This growing phenomenon has to be fought back as the proliferation of online casinos will continue at the rate of 30% over the next three years as per a 2013 report by the global gambling market research firm H2 Gambling Capital.

Fighting cybercrime

Landscape of online gambling is constantly changing and this is why McAfee suggests leveraging cross-sector, cross-border, and public-private partnerships to apprehend cybercriminals.  

The research firm also notes Europol's European Cybercrime Centre, which says that money-laundering through online gambling can be curbed by gathering information on cybercrime, and maintaining technical expertise for law enforcement in all member states.

This issue can be tackled by coordinating complex transnational cases in close collaboration with organizations such as Interpol and Eurojust.

Threat assessments should be conducted using trend analyses and forecasts and close collaboration should be done with organizations such as police academies to develop training activities for fighting cyber crime.

Development of forensic tools will enable member states to more effectively detect and prosecute cybercriminals.