Currently there is a debate in the United States over the legal status of Internet Gambling; specifically, playing Poker for "real money" over the Internet.

Many of those who are opposed to Internet Gambling in the United States claim that Internet Gambling sites are used to fund terrorist organizations & activities.

Is there are actual evidence to back up this claim? Do terrorists use internet gambling sites as a source of funding or money laundering?

The following appears in the Congressional Record, vols 109-122, pg 14297 (not sure if I'm citing this properly)

Source link

Worse, the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Department of State have all stated that Internet gambling can be exploited to launder money for such groups as drug dealers, organized crime, and terrorist organizations.

  • Could you add a link to a website that makes this claim?
    – Christian
    Apr 20 '11 at 20:13
  • I've heard this claim too, from several places. No source atm, though. Apr 21 '11 at 6:25
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    "can be exploited" in the context of your quote is a clear admission by the authors that they have no evidence.
    – horatio
    Apr 21 '11 at 19:46
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    yes, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they're used as money laundering operations just as the Las Vegas casinos were in the 1920s and '30s. Not all, maybe not even most, but some.
    – jwenting
    Apr 26 '11 at 6:31
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    (1) Make a consensual transaction illegal driving it underground and making people who still do t are criminals (2) Make a campaign issue of it (3) ??? (4) Profit! Jul 1 '12 at 23:51

Yes, according to this Washington Post report of a 2007 case.

According to documents gathered by law enforcement officials, the three men used stolen credit card numbers at hundreds of online stores to buy items that fellow jihadists might need in the field. Authorities also say the men laundered money from stolen credit card accounts through more than a dozen online gambling sites.
Al-Daour also allegedly laundered money through online gambling sites, using accounts set up with stolen credit card numbers and victims' identities, and ran up thousand-dollar tabs at such sites as AbsolutePoker.com, BetFair.com, BetonBet.com, Canbet.com, Eurobet.com, NoblePoker.com and ParadisePoker.com. Al-Daour and other members of the group conducted 350 transactions at 43 different online wagering sites, using more than 130 compromised credit card accounts. Winnings were withdrawn and transferred to online bank accounts the men controlled.

Of course, charges made by authorities are sometimes wrong, but I note:

they changed their pleas to guilty. They were sentenced yesterday to prison terms ranging from 6 1/2 to 10 years.

This gives more veracity to the investigator's claims.

  • Here's a list of things a jihadist might need in the field: baby wipes, pants, insect repellant, a tent, mp3 player, batteries...
    – horatio
    Jun 7 '11 at 15:22
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    @horatio: Oh no! I've bought those! And I use online gambling sites. How do I turn myself in?
    – Oddthinking
    Jun 8 '11 at 1:46
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    @Ryathal: Would you like to substantiate that comment? I see no evidence of vilification of Internet gambling here. I know of money laundering through buying already-won lottery tickets at a premium, but that's presumably hard to do through a stolen credit card, whereas laundering money through deliberately losing a bet with a stolen account to a clean account owned in a poker game/exchange bet is more straightforward.
    – Oddthinking
    Jul 2 '12 at 14:49
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    @Oddthinking My reasoning is simply the gambling sites are all called out by name, where the shopping sites and airline sites all remain anonymous, despite all of them accepting fraudulent credit cards. Also 130 credit cards out of the 37,000 they had access to seems like a small percentage if a site was actively aiding in the money laundering process I would think there would be a much higher volume than that.
    – Ryathal
    Jul 2 '12 at 15:57
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    @Ryathal: Interesting point. Why name the gambling sites when they didn't name the airlines?
    – Oddthinking
    Jul 2 '12 at 16:02

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