Online gambling: how can we combat the perfect disguise to transfer illicit profits?

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Trilateral Research |

Date: 9 December 2021

Online gambling and money laundering have become the perfect partners. In 2020 the Online Gambling Gross Income in Europe reached approximately 24 billion Euros.

According to EUROPOL, the EU loses an estimated 120 billion Euros annually due to money laundering. Add cryptocurrency into the mix and you face a challenge unforeseen by law enforcement agencies (LEAs).

Since most online gambling organizations are established in offshore jurisdictions – for example Malta, Gibraltar, and the Channel Islands for Europe – information is hardly accessible. The ability to open an account from anywhere, transfer illicit profits onto said accounts and have them paid out as gambling profits provides the perfect platform to route money for any reason, especially organised crime and terrorism. Whether it be using single accounts for small amounts of money or simply buying software to establish an organisation’s own gambling platform, online gambling is an endless resource for those who want to cover their (financial) tracks.

As it stands, it is practically impossible for LEAs to follow the money trail. Obstacles often include bureaucracy, a lack of personal and technical resources, different legal interpretations of where money laundering legally starts and a less then cooperative attitude from the offshore jurisdictions.

Trilateral Research has joined the TRACE consortium to provide LEAs with the opportunity to accumulate parallel information legally and simultaneously from very different sources by introducing innovative data management solutions combined with AI analytics.

Considering potential risks, Trilateral develops recommendations regarding the ethical, legal and social impacts from tracing illicit money. This ensures that the TRACE project tools are built on the rule of law and transparency, to garner public trust.

Crowd Knowledge Graph

TRACE solutions will enable LEAs to detect and combat money-laundering operations and financing of organised crime and terrorism by increasing the efficiency of information sharing. TRACE’s innovative technology will combine human intelligence (HI) with artificial intelligence (AI) to enable cross communication and create the Crowd Knowledge Graph.

How it works: Intelligent AI will extract a wealth of information from the massive datasets that accumulate throughout investigations such as people, organisations, assets, account numbers, phone numbers (to name a few). Investigators will then be able to communicate their own knowledge to the AI which will then build a Personalized Knowledge Graph.

Established through the efforts of various organisations and teams, the Crowd Knowledge graph will provide a visualization of the vast amounts of accumulated data. The combination of company registries, Software platforms for online gambling, offshore entities including their managers and social media links will create a well-organized picture of the money trail one that will provide LEAs with the e-Evidence necessary to get convictions and recover the proceeds of crime.

In the future months TRACE will develop use cases that depict the challenges of disrupting financial flows of criminal money.

To learn about the TRACE project, visit the project website.



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