Fixed odds betting machines casino type games used to launder money

Fixed odds betting machines casino type games used to launder moneySince fixed-odds betting terminals were introduced in the United Kingdom in 2001, they have not been as strictly regulated as other forms of gambling. These betting machines based on casino games allow players to bet large amounts every few seconds and this is proving to be the attraction for those who wish to launder money from criminal activity. It is possible at the moment for any player using a fixed-odds betting terminal to bet £100 on a game of roulette  about every 20 seconds.

This amount that can be bet on the machines is much higher than the £2 that can be bet on machines in casinos. For some time now there have been several articles in the British press concerning the number of betting shops on British high streets that have these fixed-odds betting terminals. The main concern is the social implications of the ease of accessing the machines but there is now the added concern that criminals are using them to launder money.

Recently the British government made proposals to bring in changes to gambling laws concerning the amounts permissible for stakes and also winnings. However, the opposition is not in favour of these changes to legislation since no mention is made of including fixed-odds betting terminals in the proposed legislation. A government minister claimed that it is not yet known if reducing the stakes allowed on these machines would protect those with gambling problems.There are now over 33 thousand fixed-odds betting terminals in betting shops on high streets all over the United Kingdom. Recently a well known British bookmaker was fined by the Gambling Commission for making a profit from almost a million pounds laundered in its shops by a drug dealer.
The Gambling Commission has recognised publicly that there is a real risk of money laundering through fixed-odds betting terminals. Criminals are able to use illegally gained money to play roulette or other casino games on the machines, they lose some money but their winnings return as “clean” laundered money.

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