Casinos have long been a favorite destination for criminal organizations looking to launder ‘dirty’ money. According to a new report commissioned by the Gaming Security Professionals of Canada, casino laws throughout the country have been effective in preventing money laundering at live and online Canadian casinos.
The GSPC document, entitled “Casinos & Money Laundering Q & A”, was authored by Christine Duhaime, a criminal attorney and certified specialist in financial crimes and international anti-money laundering laws. Based on her research findings, Ms. Duhaime praised the stringent safeguards enforced by the nation’s regulators on both provincial and federal levels.
The report details the facts and intricacies of money laundering, and its prevalent nature throughout casinos worldwide. Money laundering is defined as “a process in which so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime is transformed into ‘clean money’ or legitimate money or other assets…”, and is a criminal offence in Canada, as it is in most jurisdictions.
However, due to the structure of anti-money laundering protocols at live and online Canadian casinos, the practice has been sufficiently thwarted across the country. All gambling activities are supervised and regulated by provincial and federal government agencies, and “are closely regulated with respect to money laundering and terrorist financing risks,” wrote Duhaime.
Canada Casino Laws Supremely Effective
“Casinos operate within a highly regulated legal environment and are subject to the supervision of provincial government regulators as well as the oversight of the federal anti-money laundering regulator. Provincial lottery corporations, which are agents of the government created to manage gambling, establish and implement operating standards, policies and procedures to ensure the compliance by casinos with applicable laws, and in particular anti-money laundering requirements,” the report continued.
While a close approximation can be said of many governments, other jurisdictions, including the United States, don’t implement the same regulatory structure or austerity as Canada casino laws mandate.
The document confirmed that, “To date there are no known cases in Canada where a person has been arrested, charged or convicted of a money laundering offence that directly involves a casino.”
How Do They Do It?
Duhaime noted that live and online Canadian casinos have been able to prevent the gambling industry from being targeted for criminal money laundering purposes by implementing “robust countermeasures, including policies, procedures and training that allow for the detection and reporting of such transactions, which in turn deters criminals from using casinos for money laundering.”
The author went on to detail a few of those practices, describing the safeguards that have served to facilitate an effectively regulated landscape within Canada’s gambling industry.
“Virtually every transaction at a casino in Canada is video recorded, making casinos one of the highest risk locations to potential money launderers,” she said.
Canada casino laws strictly enforce “the presence of security and surveillance personnel at casinos…”, and it shows. Ms. Duhaime concluded that “the inability of criminals to complete large financial transactions anonymously with cash, chips or by converting currency or electronic funds transfers, makes Canadian casinos unattractive to would-be money launderers.”
Unregulated Online Canadian Casinos At Risk
The only gambling destinations operating in the country that are not known to effectively thwart money laundering activities are offshore online Canadian casinos, which are not regulated by a provincial government.
“Unregulated online gambling websites have not been made subject to Canada’s anti-money laundering legislation that protects consumers and the integrity of gambling,” Duhaime explained. “As a result, Canadian money laundering controls apply only to on-line gambling websites operated by a province.”