India to Create a Gaming Regulator

In India gambling is allowed in only a few tourist locations like Goa. But even these have come under the scanner as possible hot spots for terror financing and money laundering. For decades India has borne the brunt of terrorist attacks largely funded by counterfeit currency and casinos can serve as a mechanism for introducing funds for terror financing. Therefore the government is mulling over the idea of creating a gaming regulator at a national level.

The groundwork for this has already been done by the Casino Sector Assessment Committee (CSAC), which operates under the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The FIU is the nodal agency for receiving, analyzing and disseminating data related to doubtful transactions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The CSAC has recommended that the casino business in India should be brought under a “comprehensive legal framework” with “autonomous gaming regulators” strengthening the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing possible in the sector.

In addition to this, the FIU has recommended to the government that the prevalent Know Your Customer guidelines should be brought at par with the stipulations of global financial bodies like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). FATF was set up by G-7 nations in 1989 with one of its objectives being strengthening money laundering laws in the casino sector.