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Money Laundering Concerns For Hong Kong's Cyber Casinos

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

24 October 2001


Although the language dealing with internet gambling has been removed from the US House of Representatives HR 3004 anti-terrorist money laundering legislation, the heat is still on, and the issue is clearly a concern for lawmakers around the world, with Hong Kong no exception.

Speaking to CNN, Ion Global analyst, Frank Yu, explained the position of the SAR's authorities with regard to internet gambling and money laundering: 'From the perspective of the online gambling site, they could be properly legitimate. But what they fail on is the due diligence of finding out who they are accepting money from and who they are giving money to.'

Critics of the online casinos argue that it would be easy to launder criminal or terrorist proceeds by placing a deposit, gambling, and then requesting the return of the balance of the deposit as a refund check. However, the Hong Kong casinos, and their overseas counterparts, believe that they are more secure than traditional offline casinos, as clients need to provide credit card or bank transfer details before they can bet.

'The only way of getting your funds to an internet casino or an internet bookmaker is to pay the casino by credit card or transfer it by bank transfer,' confirmed Peter Andersson, the international managing director of online bookmaker SSP International. 'When you want your money out you have it the same way, so all the transactions are pretty transparent.'


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