the representative of an NGO confides in Agence France Presse

According to Maira Martini, director of the anti-money laundering section of the NGO Transparency International, casinos are actively involved in concealing the origin of dirty money. She even claims that casinos often prefer to “turn a blind eye” to the origins of the sums wagered by their customers, at the risk of facilitating the underground economy.

“Casinos are willing not to conduct checks on their customers”

The non-governmental organization Transparency International, the leading civil society entity in the fight against corruption, believes that money laundering is rampant in casinos. According to one of its leaders, Maira Martini: “ Casinos are more than willing to turn a blind eye and not conduct thorough checks on their customers “.

According to Transparency International, some players regularly enter a casino with money from illegal activities such as drug or human trafficking, without being asked any questions. As soon as these players play and win, the money they win is laundered: they can officially say where the money in their possession came from, since they now have a established origin.

To illustrate her reasoning, Maira Martini gave a concrete example, understandable to all, to AFP: ” Let’s say you are a civil servant and you earn 1,000 euros a month. If you buy a house for a million euros, you cannot justify such a purchase in terms of your income, which means that you have taken a bribe. But if you say that the million euros was won at the casino, you will have no problem spending that money “.

Do casinos really enable the development of the underground economy?

Casinos are of course subject to inflexible rules in most European Union (EU) countries. However, controls are very rare and gambling establishments, often fearing that their customers will feel oppressed by questions whose answers they consider confidential, do not dare to enforce the rules. ” Sit nthere is no state that ensures that these rules are properly enforced, a link between the underground economy and casinos can easily be traced “, says Maira Martini.

According to the NGO Transparency International, some countries are very attractive to individuals steeped in corruption. “ In Cyprus and Malta, the culture of secrecy is still very present. There is also the question of whether the laws are enforced and whether the state would take action if it were not.was there any concern or sanctions against the individuals involved? In Cyprus and Malta, we have not yet seen strong action by the governments in place against money laundering “warns Maira Martini.

Kayleigh Williams