Money Laundering in the Casino Industry: What You Need to Know

With the increase in gambling around the world, mainly due to the phenomenal growth of online casinos, most governments are stepping up their efforts to prevent criminal behavior and keep it legal.

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So what exactly is money laundering and what does it have to do with casinos? In this article, we take a look at how the two got so intertwined. We also take a look at some of the most powerful authorities to see what they are doing to tackle money laundering in online and offline casinos. We will then discuss how online slots have proven to be an effective first line of defense against criminals.

What is money laundering?

Money laundering is the process of turning illegally obtained money into “clean” money. In other words, money obtained through illicit behavior is treated in a way that gives the impression that it comes from a legitimate source.

Tax evasion, embezzlement, theft and drug trafficking are all closely linked to money laundering. The proceeds from these crimes are frequently reinvested in the criminal industry or used to finance terrorist activities.

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How are casinos affected by money laundering?

Criminals use dirty money to buy valuable goods such as real estate or gems, or other valuables. The sale of these assets is a frequently used means of laundering money. Money launderers now have additional channels for their business thanks to modern internet financial services and especially cryptocurrency.

Criminals have traditionally tried to use casinos to clean up money, for example by buying casino chips, playing only a few hands, and then declaring the chips as winners in the form of a check or money. receipt or on a larger scale by owning the establishment. Online casinos can be targeted by criminals, and all reputable casinos comply with money laundering regulations, whether they are physical establishments or online organizations.

What are casinos doing against money laundering?

The incidents we have seen so far in the industry have resulted from non-compliance with fight against money laundering (AML) rules. Crimes like these can flourish without a strong system of independent and external regulation.

Germany recently further regulated the industry to protect customers. Germany will adopt deposit limits and a national shared user database in 2021, according to Both of these approaches will significantly reduce money laundering in the online gaming industry. Even if there is a slot machine in a small tavern, you have to check who is playing.

The UK Gambling Commission regulates all forms of gambling, including online gambling. The UKGC recently amended its anti-money laundering recommendations for operators, stressing the importance of comprehensive staff training, regular risk assessments and mandatory reporting of any Suspicious activity.

The UKGC takes advantage of the fact that there are several operators in the market and no single casino generates a disproportionate amount of tax revenue on its own. Lower taxes means less motivation to ignore irregularities, and the Commission has shown that it does not hesitate to withdraw licenses and impose fines on numerous occasions.

Customers are now required to provide proof of identity and address and proof of a source of funds for substantial deposits. As a large, well-established casino company located in Malta recently realized, even past failures can result in penalties. Despite a change in leadership and improved anti-money laundering systems, the UKGC has fined £ 6million for poor implementation since 2012.

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Rules and regulations

Much to the chagrin of thousands of criminals around the world, most governments now have legislation in place to combat money laundering through online casinos.

Criminals used to get away with things like the money deposit scheme, but today certain restrictions make this tactic nearly impossible. Websites with many slot machine games, such as the popular megaway slots, are fairly strict on the rules and make sure that each player respects them.

In this scenario, it is because most online casinos require that you spend a certain amount of money to play before you can withdraw your investment. Casinos have found that they can effectively combat money laundering by promoting online slots.


Everyone in the gambling industry should know the law, be able and confident to analyze the vulnerability of their business to money laundering, and be able to develop and implement the most effective procedures.

Companies in this industry must ensure that they have effective anti-money laundering measures in place. It is crucial to recognize that criminals constantly change their angle of attack, which is why casinos and authorities must frequently assess the effectiveness of these methods. Standards should not be invented, introduced and then forgotten.

Keeping control of criminals is a full-time job. When money laundering is discovered, authorities will see such an approach as a checkbox exercise, doing as little as possible – and will be of little use in self-defense. Insufficient procedures, poorly implemented or never reviewed and updated as necessary, are of little or no use. They do not prohibit money laundering or persuade the authorities that you have tried to solve the problem.

The casino industry is a target for money launderers. As a result, it drew the attention of those in charge of anti-money laundering investigations. Anyone operating in this industry who does not take the necessary precautions to prevent money laundering is placing themselves in the most dangerous situation possible. And it is almost guaranteed that they will lose.