Anonymity risk is not particular to online gaming sites but exists for any company that wants to do business with its clients over the internet, be it a bank, an e-commerce site or a gaming site. In order to overcome this anonymity, a site must analyze a client and their device’s behavior, to determine whether they are potential criminals or their device has been compromised. Using a consortium approach, where multiple companies are supplying information on the same devices – and thus the same clients – an online casino can quickly determine both expected behavior patterns and deviations from those patterns. This will allow for a quick decision on whether more due diligence on a client is required.
The technology exists today that allows companies to monitor not only the logins of clients, but the underlying devices being used to connect to both the company’s portal and to the portal of any company in the contributory database. This allows a given company to know whether a device is risky or whether it has been involved in criminal activities in the past.
The opportunities for online gaming companies to reduce their money laundering risk go far beyond that, however. For instance, a money launderer might look to use 10 to 20 accounts to place offsetting bets on a sporting event. This would ensure an exact outcome for the launderer, while only paying the vig to the gaming site as a reasonable cost to launder their proceeds. If well executed through multiple accounts this would potentially be difficult to detect. By capturing not only login data, but also the underlying device, location and connection information, the site would have significantly better understanding of the activity being undertaken. It is a lot easier to set up 20 accounts than it is to run 20 separate devices.
The next level would be a scenario where all of the accounts are held with different gaming sites. If the sites are all part of the consortium, betting data could be aggregated across all of the different companies. Individuals that are laundering money through betting could be quickly identified and each company could see that there are multiple gaming accounts linked to this illicit operation. This allows for intelligence that is not currently available to any of the gaming sites.
Online gaming sites will always be high risk entities in terms of money laundering, given the anonymity provided through online usage. It is possible, however, to significantly reduce the money laundering risk that an entity is faces by using state of the art technology. That technology can be deployed and tuned depending on the risk appetite of each individual casino and what type of business that they would like to have. Technology is here to be deployed as the entity sees fit and it is ultimately that risk based decision that will lead to how strict a given casino is about the activity that they allow. With criminals continuing to view online gaming sites as a viable method of laundering their proceeds, the casinos should consider using these new technologies to the fullest extent possible.