It seems the author of a report called “Jackpot! Money Laundering Through Online Gambling” has come out and said the findings of his study have been grossly misinterpreted by the anti-online and pro-online activist groups.
Raj Samani, chief technology officer of leading anti-virus firm McAfee and author of this report has said he felt like he had “kicked a hornets nest” with the amount of responses he has received over his report.
According to Samani, the majority of the debate seems to be over facts that are completely irrelevant to the reports original findings. In his report, Samani stated the most used method for criminals to launder money was through online casino and Bingo sites. If you’re interested, more information about bingo sites can be found here.
He said that greater collaboration between unlicensed websites and law enforcement groups was required to restrict this illegal activity. The report hypothesised that greater control over gambling websites would cause criminals to go elsewhere with their money laundering schemes.
However it seems that the ‘for’ and ‘against’ camps have taken this study on as their flagships.
The ‘Coalition to Stop Internet Gaming’ said that this report shows that internet gaming leads to money laundering being conducted by various terrorist groups and dangerous criminal gangs, an idea that even spoken out loud sounds absurd.
But the ‘for’ camp have given an equally outrageous knee-jerk reaction. The Coalition for Consumer and Online Protection said that the banning of these websites would just lead to the creation of more unregulated gambling sites, in a “cutting one head off the hydra for it to spawn two more” sort of move.
When approached for his opinion on the ongoing feud between the two groups, Mr Samani said that he had already spoken with the heads of both groups and had refused to publicly debate with them.
To appear to be fair, he said he saw both sides of the argument but felt that he couldn’t “Make an argument in 140 characters” over Twitter to support either case.
It seems in this case that miss-information from both sides has sparked an argument that has neither side backing down, causing a beloved pastime to come under fire from various groups. This ongoing argument has already led to two bills being pushed through congress.
One bill looks to legalize and regulate internet gambling websites, whilst the other is a complete polar opposite reaction of banning the activity outright. But it’s not just online gambling that comes under fire from such misinformation from groups that haven’t quite got all the facts.
For example, only recently Marshfield Massachusetts removed the ban on arcade machines that was originally implemented in 1982. The residents of this small town were banned from playing any coin operated arcade machines as some of the residents thought that video games attracted an “undesirable element” to the town and that it would lead to an increase in crime.
The town’s leader, Craig Rondeau, was quoted at the time as saying: “It would be bad for the people; it brings bad characters into town.”
This rather backward way of thinking is still carted around a lot today by uninformed politicians a
nd heads of state who seek to ban something they don’t understand. It’s a sad state of affairs when those in power and influence lack the necessary education to understand something so fundamental that they would rather pander to the outspoken masses.
Imposing an unfair carpet ban on everything in lieu of actually taking time to understand the concept of what they’re trying to restrict.
Gaming has only recently becoming sociably acceptable and with online gaming becoming more prevalent throughout our society, it seems that a lot of ideas and misconceptions will have to change before we can truly get any real improvement out of the genre.
Tom Brown is a technology journalist