Money laundering through casinos generally occurs in the placement and layering stage

Money Laundering through Casinos – How to tackle it?

An issue that has been ignored for too long is fraudulent activity via the casino system. It has now become a recurring issue, as gambling giants like Entain recently received a fine of more than £17 million for violating anti-money laundering protocols. The failure of these big gambling players to clamp down against money laundering not only contributes to the proliferation of criminal activity such as human trafficking and illicit arms dealings, but it also highlights how casinos now serve as a platform for modern slavery.

Money laundering is the illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained from criminal activities. It is a severe crime, and yet, sadly, many casinos still fail to tackle it effectively. From a lack of proper regulations to inadequate tracking systems, this article will discuss why casinos still need to crack down on money laundering and how they can tackle it. We will also discuss the implications for businesses and what measures should be taken to prevent money laundering in the future.

Money laundering in Casinos

Global gambling-industry financial penalties amounted to approximately $128,913,840 in 2022, up 166% from $48,642,992 in 2021, according to USA-Casino.com. As of October 2022, the UK’s gambling regulator had charged 16 operators $48m (£45m).

Casinos have long been associated with money laundering due to the large amounts of cash that change daily. Despite this, casinos have failed to crack down on money laundering, and the problem seems to be getting worse. 

There are several reasons why casinos have failed to tackle money laundering. A few majors are 

  1. Lack of tracking of the fund source – because cash is often used. 
  2. Lack of AML policies. 
  3. Being located in countries with lax financial regulations makes it easy for criminals to launder money 
  4. Inadequately trained employees to spot money laundering signs and stop the same. 

So how can casinos crack down on money laundering?

  1. They need to put better policies and procedures in place to prevent it from happening in the first place. This includes proper customer due diligence, robust Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures, and more effective monitoring of transactions. As former US gambling regulator Richard Schuetz spoke with USA-Casino.com and said, “Given the inevitable increase of proliferation of online gambling in 2023, one can expect more regulations, and of course more casino and gambling industry fines”.
  2. Casinos need to do more to train their staff to spot the signs of money laundering. This training should cover what to look for when customers withdraw or deposit large amounts of cash and how to report suspicious activity.
  3. Casinos should consider using modern technology. 

The methods used by criminals

Though casinos have been put under increased pressure to stop money laundering, they continue to face many challenges. For one, criminals are constantly finding new ways to launder money, making it difficult for casinos to keep up. Moreover, many casinos still need to do more to crack down on, leaving themselves vulnerable to attack.

So what can casinos do to protect themselves from money launderers better? For starters, they need to be more proactive in identifying suspicious activity. This means being on the lookout for things like large cash deposits or withdrawals, frequent wire transfers, and patterns of betting that seem designed to evade detection.

Additionally, casinos need to ensure they have robust anti-money laundering policies and procedures. These should include KYC (know your customer) checks, reporting suspicious activity to authorities, training staff on the spot, and reporting red flags. By taking these steps, casinos can make it much harder for criminals to use them to launder money.

The Casino’s responsibility

In recent years, casinos have come under increased scrutiny for their role in money laundering. This is because casinos are often used to clean dirty money obtained through illegal activities.

Casinos have a responsibility to ensure that they are not being used to launder money. However, they have failed to crack down adequately on this activity. This is partly because casinos are often reluctant to report suspicious behavior to the authorities for fear of losing customers or damaging their reputation.

There are steps that casinos can take to tackle money launderings, such as better training for staff, improved customer due diligence, and more substantial reporting procedures. However, more must be done to prevent casinos from being used to clean dirty money.

The challenges of combating Casino’s money laundering

Although casinos are some of the most heavily regulated businesses worldwide, they are still struggling to combat money laundering effectively. The challenges are numerous and include both institutional and operational challenges.

Institutional challenges include that many casinos are owned by large, publicly-traded companies, making it difficult to implement adequate anti-money laundering policies. These companies are often reluctant to invest in compliance because it is not revenue-generating and can be seen as a cost center. In addition, there is often a lack of coordination between regulatory agencies, making it challenging to develop a cohesive strategy for combating money laundering.

Operational challenges include that casinos deal with large amounts of cash daily, making it easy for criminals to launder money through them. In addition, many casino customers are international visitors who may be using illicit funds to gamble. This makes it difficult for casinos to vet their customers and identify suspicious activity correctly.

Despite these challenges, there are some things that casinos can do to combat money laundering better. These include increasing transparency around ownership structures, investing in compliance functions, and developing better customer due diligence processes.

Solutions to tackle money laundering in Casinos

Money laundering is a serious problem for casinos. Casinos must implement better policies and procedures to crack down the same. Here are some solutions to tackle:

  1. Improve Know Your Customer (KYC) Procedures

Casinos need to improve their Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures. KYC is the process of identifying and verifying the identity of customers. This is important because it helps casinos ensure they are not doing business with criminals or terrorists.

  1. Implement Better Record-Keeping Practices

Casinos need to implement better record-keeping practices. This means keeping track of all transactions, both incoming and outgoing. This will help identify any suspicious activity.

  1. Use Technology 

Various technologies can be used to help combat money laundering. For example, casinos can use software that flags suspicious activity. They can also use data analytics to identify patterns of behavior that may be associated.

  1. Cooperate with Law Enforcement Agencies

Casinos should cooperate with law enforcement agencies in order to crack down on. This includes sharing information about suspicious activity with the authorities.

Conclusion

Money laundering is a serious problem for casinos and other gambling establishments, as it has the potential to lead to criminal activities. However, by investing in stronger AML systems and tightening their compliance regulations, casinos can reduce their chances of getting involved in such frauds. Additionally, they should also train staff on identifying suspicious activity and take steps toward improving customer verification processes. By accepting these necessary measures, casinos can protect themselves from being used as vehicles for money launderers while allowing customers peace of mind that all transactions are carried out legitimately.

A more proactive approach can detect and prevent money laundering. This can be done through improved customer due diligence practices and enhanced internal processes such as reporting suspicious activity immediately. With increased vigilance, casinos can ensure they remain compliant with regulations while reducing the threat of criminals using their services for illegal activities.

The latest AML onboarding solutions can help casinos prevent their operations from becoming dirty money laundering channels by tackling common AML malpractice. Technology can be the winning jackpot to clean up casino operations.

About Signzy

Signzy is a market-leading platform redefining the speed, accuracy, and experience of how financial institutions are onboarding customers and businesses – using the digital medium. The company’s award-winning no-code GO platform delivers seamless, end-to-end, and multi-channel onboarding journeys while offering customizable workflows. In addition, it gives these players access to an aggregated marketplace of 240+ bespoke APIs that can be easily added to any workflow with simple widgets.

Signzy is enabling ten million+ end customer and business onboarding every month at a success rate of 99% while reducing the speed to market from 6 months to 3-4 weeks. It works with over 240+ FIs globally, including the 4 largest banks in India, a Top 3 acquiring Bank in the US, and has a robust global partnership with Mastercard and Microsoft. The company’s product team is based out of Bengaluru and has a strong presence in Mumbai, New York, and Dubai.

Visit www.signzy.com for more information about us.
You can reach out to our team at reachout@signzy.com

Written By:

Shraddha is a passionate Digital Marketer and a versatile leader, working as the Director of Marketing at Signzy. She is a goal-driven professional with excellent innovative skills. Having 11+ years of experience across industries including travel, SNV, healthcare, and Fintech, Shraddha considers herself a self-empowered and self-driven individual ready to take on challenges and proactively rise to occasions in crisis. A professional who ardently believes in the right work-life balance, she ensures to spend quality time with her family. This has a positive effect on her professional life and pursuits.

online gamers draft by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology

Why Mandatory Verification of Online Gamers?

As online gamers in India grows, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has drafted amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, to guarantee that games & gamers adhere to Indian laws and provide users with protection against potential harm.

Gaming has become a part of everyday life for many people, from casual mobile games to more hardcore console and PC gaming. As the popularity of gaming continues to grow, so does the importance of having an appropriate level of safety and security for gamers.

In this blog post, let’s explore what this proposal entails and why it is important. We will also discuss how it may affect both casual and professional gamers.

What is the government proposing for the Industry & Gamers?

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) proposed an amendment to bring online gaming under the ambit of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021

The amendments seek to ensure due diligence from online gaming intermediaries so that users are not exposed to any activities breaching Indian law – such as gambling or betting – and also require a registration mark on all online games registered by self-regulatory bodies.

The Draft Rules

  1. A gamer must be informed of all online games offered by the gaming intermediary, as well as its policy regarding withdrawals and refunds of deposits made with the expectation of winnings. Also, how winnings will be determined and distributed, as well as the fees the user will have to pay for each game. 
  2. There should be a mandatory know-your-customer norm for verification (KYC).
  3. A user will need to be aware of the potential for addiction and the financial risks associated with each game.
  4. As part of the registration process of the game, the self-regulatory body must set up criteria for its content to protect the gamer from harm, including self-harm.
  5. Only games that are approved by the self-regulatory body will be permitted to operate legally in India.
  6. Five members will create the self-regulatory body’s board of directors, with expertise in online gaming, public policy, IT, psychology, and medicine.
  7. It is responsible for ensuring that the registered games do not contain anything that is not in the interest of India’s sovereignty, integrity, defense, security, friendly relations with foreign countries, or public order or that incites a cognizable offense.
  8. The Centre should be informed about the online games registered by all self-regulatory bodies, along with a report detailing the criteria for registering a particular game.

Why is there a need for such rules?

It is for protecting users from potential harm caused by skill-based games. 

  1. Innovation: As online gaming platforms are getting regulated as intermediaries and are subject to due diligence requirements, the online gaming sector will be promoted and innovation will be encouraged.
  2. Women Gamers Safety: Approximately 40 to 45% of Indian gamers are women, which makes keeping the gaming ecosystem safe all the more important.
  3. Because they generate revenue that needs proper regulation: In 2025, the Indian mobile gaming industry is to generate $5 billion in revenue. The industry grew at a CAGR of 38 percent between 2017 and 2020, versus 8% in China and 10% in the US.
  4. Credibility & Transparency: In addition to ensuring greater transparency, consumer protection, and investor confidence, this framework will boost the legitimate domestic online gaming industry.

What are the pros of the proposed mandatory verification of online gamers?

The proposed mandatory verification of online gamers has generated a lot of debate, with some people arguing that it is a necessary step to prevent underage gaming and others asserting that it will infringe on the privacy of gamers. Here, we take a look at the pros of the proposed policy: 

1) It would help to prevent underage gaming & Fraud: The proposed policy would require online gamers to verify their age before being able to play, which would help to prevent minors from accessing age-inappropriate content.

2) It could help combat cheating: By mandating age verification, it would become more difficult for people to create multiple accounts to cheat in online games.

3) It would promote responsible gaming: Making online gamers verify their age would encourage them to play responsibly and not engage in excessive gaming.

Our take

The government’s proposed mandatory verification of online gamers is a step in the right direction toward protecting citizens from online threats and fraud. With the implementation of this measure, users can be assured that their identities are secure when engaging with other players or playing games online. It will also help prevent illegal activities such as money laundering and identity theft which have been particularly rampant on gaming websites lately. In essence, this proposed measure could be immensely beneficial for both players and regulatory authorities alike by promoting safety and security in the digital world.

About Signzy

Signzy is a market-leading platform redefining the speed, accuracy, and experience of how financial institutions are onboarding customers and businesses – using the digital medium. The company’s award-winning no-code GO platform delivers seamless, end-to-end, and multi-channel onboarding journeys while offering customizable workflows. In addition, it gives these players access to an aggregated marketplace of 240+ bespoke APIs that can be easily added to any workflow with simple widgets.

Signzy is enabling ten million+ end customer and business onboarding every month at a success rate of 99% while reducing the speed to market from 6 months to 3-4 weeks. It works with over 240+ FIs globally, including the 4 largest banks in India, a Top 3 acquiring Bank in the US, and has a robust global partnership with Mastercard and Microsoft. The company’s product team is based out of Bengaluru and has a strong presence in Mumbai, New York, and Dubai.

Visit www.signzy.com for more information about us.
You can reach out to our team at reachout@signzy.com