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Federal Online Poker Regulation Needed to Fight Money Laundering

As individual states continue making progress in enacting online poker and gambling legislation, a top law enforcement official has warned that stopping money laundering will be nearly impossible to do without some sort of federal regulations.

“Law enforcement won’t be able to attack terrorist activity…with 50 laws,” said Chuck Canterbury, the Fraternal Order of Police’s national director.

Canterbury made his comments during a hearing today before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance. The FOP chief advised that terrorists in countries such as Afghanistan are laundering money through online gambling sites and no regulations are currently in place that can prevent such criminal activity from proliferating.

The first Senate hearing of 2013 was entitled, “The Expansion of Internet Gambling: Assessing Consumer Protection Concerns.” The main focus of the hearing as originally intended was to investigate how best to keep minors and problem gamblers off of online gaming sites for their own protection.

That issue was debated when the CEO of a technology security firm known as Daon demonstrated ways in which software that detects voices and faces of those accessing gamble websites can be beneficial. However, such technology is not currently a priority of those preparing to offer online gambling in the U.S., the expert witness testified.

But combating crime took center stage at the meeting with the added element of Bitcoin mentioned as yet another money laundering tool used by organized criminals. The unregulated currency is available as a payment processing option at a handful of online poker sites and is becoming more widespread on the Internet globally, much to the chagrin of federal authorities who are investigating ways to stop criminals from using the digital currency to launder ill-gotten funds.


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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.