Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2000


Since the end of World War II, American society has seen the emergence of technology promising to make life easier, better and longer lasting. The more recent explosion of the Internet is fulfilling the dreams of the high-tech pundits as it provides global real-time communication links and makes the world's knowledge universally available. Privacy concerns surrounding the develop-ment of the Internet have mounted, and in response, service providers and web site operators have enabled web users to conduct transactions in nearly complete anonymity. While anonymity respects individual privacy, anonymity also facilitates criminal activities needing secrecy. One such activity is money laundering, which is now being facilitated by the emerging Internet casinos industry. These casinos can be physically located anywhere with web sites available worldwide. Internet casinos were a target of legislation by the United States Congress, but the legislation, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, failed to pass. So, at the moment, Internet casinos are a virtually unregulated mechanism for laundering illegal funds. This problem crosses national boundaries. Consequently, the nations concerned with preventing money laundering must cooperate. The United States has enacted a host of laws that enable the government to prosecute both the root crime of money laundering, as well as the means, on-line gambling. But, effective eradication of this criminal enterprise will require international cooperation. From international cooperation, to international regulation, to international enforcement, the problem of eradicating money laundering via the Internet does not present itself with simple and easy solutions. However, as an international community, we must begin to take steps forward to reaching the common goal of crime prevention. We must all first agree that we have a serious problem on our hands, and that it therefore warrants serious consideration into solving it. The law often chases technology. Here the law must accept a challenge of technological complexity and international dimensions. Then we must proceed to the nuts and bolts of the dilemma and decide which are the tools that are needed to fix the situation at hand. Once we make it through this hoop, we must work together to enforcing our rules, and ensuring compliance with our laws. Only time will tell if we will be successful, but time is of the essence, and action must be taken.