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Financial Police of Sweden has revealed a report that highlights more than 700 cases of money laundering in the jurisdiction that involved the use of gaming companies in 2020.
According to the report, with 705 cases in total, there has been a rise of 14.8% in money laundering from 2019 which reported 614 cases in total.
The Gambling regulators in Sweden say that only half of the licensed operators in the jurisdiction have provided the authorities with the report. This indicates that there has been under-reporting as well from the gaming Industry.
The regulatory body has pointed out that this report is just a suspicion and it does not mean that the gaming company has proof of the money laundering activity taking place. However, the companies have reason to believe that the deposited money has been funded through criminal activities.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the country has seen a rise in online gambling and gaming in 2020 as the on-premises facilities were closed. The Financial Police have used this reason to explain the rise in the money laundering reports from 2019 to 2020.
The police have also pointed out due to the regulations introduced last year, like the controversial SEK5,000 weekly deposit limit, more customers are forced to use the means of unlicensed offshore operators.
The Finance Police reports, “The sums reported as suspicious are usually between SEK10,000 (£845/€988/$1,174) and SEK100,000 and these reports were made by 27 gaming companies in 2020, compared to 30 in 2019.” It said that “The next year may carry with it an increased risk of money laundering via gaming companies, as more players opt to use offshore operators which are not subject to Swedish money laundering regulations.”
Several measures have been taken to curb the rise in money laundering taking place. These measures include increased control over the funds being deposited or being transferred from gaming accounts and a close monitor of the gaming patterns to look for any suspicious activities. Further measures involve the due diligence of the holder of the gaming account and to ensure that they are also the holder of the bank account linked to it. This is done to avert identity theft. Supervision and training of the gaming operators and control of licensees have also been increased.