Canadian Law Changes Target Online Casinos

In February of this year, Canada introduced amendments to their Anti-Money Laundering law, with the changes set to target online casinos that operate in the country. The reason for these amendments was due to the fact that Canada has often lagged behind the rest of the world when it comes to their online money laundering laws. Online casinos in countries such as the UK go through a great deal of government scrutiny, and Canada felt that it was time for them to “move with the times” regarding these policies.

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Here is an overview of the major amendments to the law:

  • Detailed information about any accounts that were using virtual currencies to complete their transactions. The government believes that using these methods of currency is a great way for launderers to legitimize their money.
  • Scope for getting information about any businesses or private entities that are conducting their business through virtual currencies. This law will apply to businesses and entities that are either operating in Canada or providing a majority of their services to Canadians.
  • Open exchange of information between online casinos and the government. People within the Ministry of Finance are able to access this information on a request only basis – there will be no need for warrants. Online casinos are encouraged to cooperate fully, especially because they are never the target of these inquires. The government wants information on people who are putting their money through these casinos.
  • Transactions that include a Canadian as one party and a foreign citizen or entity as the second party are to get particular attention. These transactions, especially those involving virtual currencies, are seen as the highest risk for laundering or terrorism activities.

Implications of the Amendments –

The basis for these amendments is to put online casinos on par with traditional casinos. A regular casino would be expected to report any suspicious transaction to the government, and there is no reason why an online casino cannot do the same.

The government believes that these entities make a lot of money by holding their operations in Canada, or by offering services exclusively to Canadian customers. If they are taking profits through Canada, it is important that they “give something back” and hold up their share of responsibilities.

As long as an online casino successfully reports requested information to the government, these amendments should have no negative impact on their business.

For more information on the amendments, click here.