Studies

European Commission: Online gambling, staff working document, October 2012
European Commission: Online gambling, staff working document, October 2012

Responsible Gambling

The online gambling services sector accounts for 10.9% of the gambling market share in the EU with a growth rate for 2015 estimated to be double that of 2008, which stood at €6.6 billion. In parallel, online technology is developing at a face pace. A large number of Member States has engaged in a review of gambling legislation particularly over the last few years. Given the cross-border nature of online gambling improving and sustaining the protection of consumers and the regulatory environment is in the interest of all Member States. This is achievable by the Member States and the EU working together.

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Money-laundering risks and online gaming: time to dispel the myth?, Professor Michael Levi, University of Cardiff, 2009
Money-laundering risks and online gaming: time to dispel the myth?, Professor Michael Levi, University of Cardiff, 2009

Money Laundering

This report reviews the threat that money laundering through the e-gaming industry presents and could plausibly present to society, and the ways in which the regulated e-gaming industry discharges its duty to reduce money laundering in the EU. Industry representatives interviewed agree that there can be ‘leakage’ through which launderers may move some proceeds of some crimes, though the risks associated with the sector are comparatively modest, due to the high traceability of e-gaming transactions and the customer identification controls in the regulated sector. However this report suggests that it is not a realistic policy goal for governments in a free society to eliminate money laundering risks altogether: the aim should be to reduce to a tolerable level the risk that e-gaming may assist other crimes. This is done in two ways: controls over ownership; and controls over the operation of e-gaming itself. One reason to prefer regulation over prohibition is to ensure that operators have to undergo a ‘fit and proper person’ test before receiving a licence, preventing people with links to organised crime and terrorist groups from owning what could be vehicles for laundering if there were no controls or if controls were over-ridden by powerful managers or beneficial owners. The second reason is to encourage e-gaming companies to develop a set of procedures approved by regulators to reduce integrity risks.

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The threat of money laundering and terrorist financing through the online gambling industry, By MHA on behalf of the RGA, 2009
The threat of money laundering and terrorist financing through the online gambling industry, By MHA on behalf of the RGA, 2009

Money Laundering

Whilst, historically, the measures to guard against money laundering and terrorist financing had been directed towards the financial sector, in December 2001 the Second European Money Laundering Directive extended the provisions to a range of non-financial sector businesses, including casinos, and set an implementation deadline of June 2003. Whilst the scope of the Directive was extended to the gaming sector because of the perceived vulnerabilities of land-based casinos, there continues to be a perception that remote casinos are also similarly vulnerable. Consequently, both the perception and the money laundering risks have needed to be managed by the remote gambling industry.

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Global Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing Threat Assessment, FATF, 2009
Global Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing Threat Assessment, FATF, 2009

Money Laundering

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an independent inter-governmental body that develops and promotes policies to protect the global financial system against money laundering and terrorist financing. Recommendations issued by the FATF define criminal justice and regulatory measures that should be implemented to counter this problem. These Recommendations also include international co-operation and preventive measures to be taken by financial institutions and others such as casinos, real estate dealers, lawyers and accountants. The FATF Recommendations are recognised as the global anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CFT) standard.

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Online gambling: Focusing on integrity and a code of conduct for gambling, Europe Economics (for the European Parliament), 2008
Online gambling: Focusing on integrity and a code of conduct for gambling, Europe Economics (for the European Parliament), 2008

Money Laundering

Our brief was to research what policy options are available to ensure a reliable and transparent online gambling market, and to establish whether a Code of Conduct for licensed gambling operators is an adequate measure to ensure the integrity of operators. Integrity is defined as relating mainly to fraud but also embraces money-laundering, problem (addictive) gambling, and under-age gambling.

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Scandinavia : The prevalence of problematic gambling behaviour – A scandinavian comparison, 2006
Scandinavia : The prevalence of problematic gambling behaviour – A scandinavian comparison, 2006

Responsible Gambling

On the basis of a new large-scale screening for the prevalence of problematic gambling behaviour in Denmark, the aim of the study was: (a) to evaluate the effect of applying different screening tools; and (b) to compare gambling behaviour in Denmark with the prevalence of problematic gambling behaviour in other Scandinavian countries. The screening tools applied were the internationally validated SOGS-R and NODS. These were used within the same survey, thus allowing for comparison with surveys conducted in other Scandinavian countries where either the one or the other tool has been utilized. The prevalence of at-risk gamblers, problematic gamblers and pathological gamblers was significantly lower in Denmark than in the other Scandinavian countries. This held true for both genders as well as for different age groups in comparisons of Denmark and Norway. There is a considerable variation in the prevalence of problematic gambling between the Scandinavian countries, with Denmark having the smallest number of gamblers with problematic behaviour. The variation might be due to national differences in gambling preferences, access to games, public policies concerning gambling, etc., but investigation of this would require further comparative research.

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