Singapore is an up-and-coming destination for visitors wanting to gamble, although there are currently only two casinos both foreign owned , in Singapore. Just to make things a little more complicated, the individual provinces within Canada are able to regulate gambling in their own regions. On March 5, , France proposed new laws to regulate and tax Internet gambling. You only have access to basic statistics. Money laundering vulnerabilities Cheques present a number of vulnerabilities:
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The proceeds of these transactions can subsequently be converted into real currencies or transferred offshore or to third-party accounts. International cases illustrate the potential vulnerability for digital currencies and virtual worlds to be misused by criminals. An international investigation by a foreign law enforcement agency and FIU identified an international internet payment service provider who was suspected of laundering illicit proceeds derived from fraudulent schemes.
The complex money laundering investigation revealed multiple DCEs, precious metals providers and stored value card providers implicated in the scheme, either unwittingly or otherwise. The potential of virtual worlds to launder funds was also highlighted. One of the stored value card providers allowed its product to be used in a virtual world — where it could be used to fund a virtual world account and exchanged through an online DCE or ATM for real world currency.
The ability to use stored value cards in virtual worlds, in conjunction with virtual currency, DCEs or ATMs, could provide criminals with an additional channel to conceal and launder illicit funds. Voucher system products have already been used by criminals overseas for financial crime and money laundering. The FATF has identified cases which demonstrate their potential for misuse. They provide a prepaid online payment facility for individuals to purchase goods and services from participating online retailers and gaming websites.
Store gift cards and similar types of coupon products do not fall within the scope of online voucher systems for the purpose of this overview. These products are used in-store and in-person, without a connection to an online environment.
Vouchers can be obtained, transferred and exchanged in a number of ways, including in-store and online. Vouchers can be purchased with cash in-store from participating outlets.
They come with a printed voucher containing a unique code that can be used to pay for goods or services online.
There are generally no customer identification requirements for the in-store purchase of vouchers. Vouchers can also be purchased online, whether directly from the product provider, from an authorised reseller who is approved by the product provider to resell vouchers to customers, a third-party seller, online exchange or digital currency exchange DCEs. Online purchasing of vouchers occurs as follows:. The voucher system products described in this overview are generally issued for low-value amounts of between AUD5 to AUD The following is an example of how a voucher product system could potentially be used to launder money:.
The methods described above may also allow vouchers to be exchanged for illicit commodities such as drugs. Vouchers may be moved offshore via online exchange services or DCEs to assist criminals to layer illegally obtained funds or to assist individuals to evade tax. Printed vouchers could be moved offshore in bulk via third parties or couriers for use overseas or, alternatively, vouchers or voucher codes could be sent from abroad to Australian-based criminals.
Two cases from Germany highlight the way criminals can employ the use of vouchers to fraudulently obtain funds. In the first case, a criminal sent an extortion letter to a German company and demanded to be paid in EUR, in cash vouchers issued by an internet payment services provider based in the United Kingdom.
The payment services provider was able to work with law enforcement to catch the extortionist. The second case concerned a financial agent who was involved in a phishing scam The financial agent accepted illicit funds extracted from bank accounts in Germany and transferred to his personal account. The financial agent withdrew the illicit funds in cash and kept a portion of the funds as commission.
The agent used the remaining cash to purchase cash vouchers worth up to EUR each at petrol stations and newspaper kiosks. The purchases were anonymous and did not identify the agent as the buyer. The financial agent emailed the voucher number or a scanned copy of the voucher to the perpetrator of the scam. The perpetrator used the voucher codes on the internet at gambling websites and to pay for goods and services online. The use of cash vouchers obscured the flow of illicit funds. Law enforcement authorities were unable to trace the transactions to determine the final destination of the illicit funds.
Given that the maximum value of voucher products is currently capped at relatively low amounts AUD or below , the use of voucher system products at this stage is likely to be limited to low-value purchases and trades in medium volumes.
For criminals, vouchers may be an alternative to established money laundering channels for types of crime involving low-value financial activity for example, illicit internet pornography. While based in foreign countries, these businesses can facilitate international funds transactions to or from customers in Australia.
This typology focuses on offshore-based online money remitters, outlining how they operate and their vulnerabilities to criminal misuse. It does not examine established network or corporate remittance providers which have a permanent presence or geographic link to Australia, either through themselves or affiliates or franchises. Online remittance is particularly vulnerable to criminal misuse due to the potential lack of face-to-face contact between customers and remittance businesses.
This lack of contact could permit the person instructing or undertaking the international funds transfer to remain unidentified, or it could mean that their identity remains unverified. The current limited visibility for authorities of transactions involving offshore online remitters, coupled with money laundering vulnerabilities of these systems, requires further development of indicators of suspicious activity.
Until indicators of money laundering via online remitters can be better defined, the following activity may suggest closer scrutiny for institutions which hold accounts of, or transact, with online remittance businesses:. Back to top Established typologies Cheques The use of cheques is an established method of money laundering and taxation evasion.
Money laundering vulnerabilities Cheques present a number of vulnerabilities: Cheques are vulnerable to being used for fraud — they may be forged, altered, duplicated, counterfeited or stolen Cheques may be used to allow criminals to deposit funds anonymously — criminals may deposit cheques into third-party accounts to conceal the source of the funds, the link to criminal entities and any subsequent use of the funds.
Money laundering typology Law enforcement investigations continue to identify the use of cheques as a means to undertake taxation fraud and money laundering. A common pattern observed by law enforcement is as follows: The first company makes out a cheque to another company for fictitious or inflated business expenses. In return, a fraudulent tax invoice is issued by the second company in an attempt to legitimise the cheque deposit made by the first company. The cheque deposits and cash withdrawals are often conducted on the same day via multiple bank branches.
Indicators for industry The following indicators highlight potentially suspicious customer behaviour involved in the use of cheques. However, the appearance of multiple indicators may be indicative of illicit activity: Cheque deposits into business accounts followed by immediate cash withdrawals at different branches regardless of whether the withdrawals are over or under the cash reporting threshold. Business accounts which operate for only 1—2 years before a new account is opened and operated under the name of another business, in circumstances where both the new and old business are owned by the same parties and undertake the same commercial activity.
Indicators for industry Reporting entities should remain alert to patterns of customer behaviour or transactional activity which may indicate the use of third-party couriers to launder illicit funds. However, the appearance of multiple indicators may be indicative of third-party courier activity: Some Americans chose not to risk betting or playing over the internet, but many more carried on doing so.
In recent years, the legal landscape has changed again. A number of states have introduced legislation which openly makes online gambling legal, and some states have even issued gaming and betting licenses to operators wishing to provide their services within those states.
Several other states have announced plans to do the same, while others are continuing to debate the issue. Just to make things a little more complicated, the individual provinces within Canada are able to regulate gambling in their own regions. Some local governments actually operate their own online betting and gaming outlets. Sites operating within and outside the region can offer their services to UK residents, provided they are licensed directly by the Gambling Commission.
This latest provision was introduced in Prior to that, any sites licensed within certain white-listed jurisdictions were able to accept customers from the UK. The clear legislation and strong regulation in the UK makes this region an attractive market for operators; the only downside is that they have high tax rates. Europe is made up of many different countries, and these countries are individually responsible for their own legislation. However, they are generally free to pass their own laws as they wish.
As such, online gambling laws in Europe vary from one country to the next. The industry is well regulated in some countries and less so in others. Our guide to European gambling laws includes information on legislation in the following countries:. This act makes it illegal for Australian companies to offer certain gambling services to Australian residents; only sports betting and lottery games are allowed. Regulation is carried out by both central government and local governments.
The online gambling legislation in New Zealand is refreshingly straightforward. Most forms of online betting and gaming are prohibited, but this only applies to companies based in the region. The act mentioned above explicitly makes it legal for New Zealanders to use sites located overseas. Just like in Europe, the countries in Asia are individually responsible for passing their own gambling legislation.
All forms of land-based gambling are completely legal in some areas, while they are all illegal in others. There are even some countries that only allow specific types of land-based gambling. Gambling is legal in most South American countries, although not in all of its forms.
In Brazil, for example, only horse racing and lotteries are legalized. Online gambling at foreign websites is also allowed throughout most of South America, and some countries even have their own regulatory systems in place for the industry.
Various forms of gambling are legal throughout Africa. Several African countries are home to numerous land-based casinos, and South Africa, in particular, is a popular destination for tourists looking to play their favorite casino games in a different atmosphere.
South Africa is also one of the few African countries that have passed legislation in relation to online gambling. Alderney is one of the most respected online gambling jurisdictions. A plethora of the best overall sites are licensed by the AGCC, which generally guarantees that they are a reputable operation. A popular part of the world for offshore banking, the country of Antigua and Barbuda was one of the first regions to establish itself as an online gambling jurisdiction.
The Antigua Directorate of Offshore Gambling began issuing licenses to gaming and betting companies back in , and at one time they had more licensees than any other licensing authority in the industry. Belize was another early mover in the industry. The country introduced the Computer Wagering License Act in to set up a legislative framework for issuing licenses, and the Belize Computer Wagering License Board was established to approve and regulate licensees. Changes have been made to the licensing requirements over the years, including a significant reduction in the relevant fees.
Costa Rica is home to many companies in the online gambling industry. They just need a general license, which is relatively easy to obtain. Previously part of the Netherland Antilles, Curacao is now an independent country. Online gambling is one of its central industries, and it began licensing companies for betting and gaming back in This is when the Curacao e — Gaming Licensing Authority was formed.
One of the oldest organizations of its type, the authority issues a single master license to eligible operators, covering all forms of gambling.