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Money laundering prevention protocols at online casinos

Given the history of money laundering in casinos, it is not surprising that online casino operators are moving mountains to avoid anything similar happening in their establishments.


The backdrop to many mobster movies, money laundering has been a profitable, albeit illicit business for decades. Dating back to Al Capone in the 1920s, the “cleaning” of dirty money has been an inspiration for countless plots with land-based casinos getting incorporated when the sheer volume of cash couldn’t be explained by coin-operated laundry businesses any longer.

As most would know, money laundering has nothing to do with the physical washing of money and, while Al Capone had a chain of laundromats, this is not where the term originated.

What is money laundering?

Essentially, money laundering is the process where money from illegal activities is incorporated into a business, processed through the sale of goods or services and then banked. In doing so, the origin of the funds gets harder to trace and becomes part of legal activity.

When Al Capone did this through his laundromat chain, he started raking in an unexplainable sum of money. Much more than could be reasonably expected from laundry services.

It was for this reason that he was jailed for tax evasion in 1931, even though law enforcement couldn’t tie him to the crime he was suspected of.

Where do casinos come in?

Casinos, which are often the location of many other morally questionable activities, rake in more than enough for money laundering to never be suspected. With players who are willing to risk large sums on casino games for the chance to win life-changing cash prizes, the origin of the funds is rarely questioned.

Aside from the need to be of legal age, it is perfectly possible for players to remain anonymous throughout their land-based casino experience and, this makes the ideal environment for illegal money to look like 100% legal tender.

How do online casinos protect against this?

Given the history of money laundering in casinos, it is not surprising that online casino operators are moving mountains to avoid anything similar happening in their establishments.

While it is possible to participate in many illicit activities online, casinos have developed a Know Your Customer (KYC) protocol which delves into your identity, financial history and location to ensure that everything is copacetic.

Verification process

While your account creation process will cover your name, address, contact details and birth date, an online casino can request further verification of your details at any time during your membership.

The process may differ slightly from one establishment to the next, however, some of the details you can expect to be requested include:

  • Identity documents
  • Payslip or source of funds paperwork
  • Proof of address - in the form of a utility account or similar

Should you be making use of funds that you have won or inherited, you would be expected to supply a copy of proof showing where the money originated.

Ultimately, the online casino is doing their part in ensuring that players are gambling responsibly at least from a source of funds perspective.

Responsible Gambling

Online casino regulators also have a few other tools that they make available to their players to ensure that casino games are always fun, with as few risks as possible.

With the history of casinos and money laundering being what it is, it isn’t surprising to find casino officials strategically placed to watch for money laundering and other illicit activities.

When suspicions are raised, usually when a financial transaction appears without any clear purpose or a player’s wagers wander out of bounds of usual casino restrictions, casino officials are duty-bound to follow a reporting chain that leads to the alerting of law enforcement for further investigation.

Remaining credible is key to any business and casinos are well aware of how much a bad reputation can affect their longevity.

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