There is a huge amount of growth in the world of online gambling. Many opponents of legalizing online gambling believe that the main problem with the issue is the growth in crime, corruption and addiction. If communities aren’t ready to handle the added cost of protecting consumers, this could lead to a growth in financial disasters, foreclosures, repossessions and loss of overall well-being for millions of in-danger citizens. Though there is no research to prove that the legalization of gambling will increase crime, there has been a notable increase in illegal activity as of late.
Recently, Australian payment processor Daniel Tzyetkoff was indicted. The charges allege that he was illegally processing payments that totaled to well over $500 million. In the past year, that amount was accumulated via processing for online gambling operators. Tzyetkoff opened bank accounts throughout the financial world and used them to pay off online gamers. Charges include gambling conspiracy, fraud, and money laundering. Tzyetkoff was in the midst of many illegal activities and those are going to be brought to light in upcoming months of investigation. There is also a long line of evidence against the defendant that have yet to be released.
The landmark change with these charges comes from the fact that for the first time the charges were a direct delineation from the UIGEA of 2006. The UIGEA was a bill written that was supposed to police and stop online gambling. For the most part the bill was unable to do anything of real value for the market. In fact, it failed to stop gambling and pushed many online gamers to work with offshore companies instead. The US ended up losing millions of dollars in revenue thanks to the UIGEA’s shortcomings. The Tzyetkoff case was framed directly as a result of the bill though and this is the first time the legislation proved to be effective.
Now that the world is moving closer to legalizing and regulating online gambling, it will be interesting to watch the developments of not only the UIGEA, but additional amendments and legislation. Leaders everywhere are well on the road to writing new rules and regulations for online gambling and time will tell whether or not it is immediately effective. If not, legislators will have to return to the drawing board and rewrite their gambling legislation.