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Online video gaming: another front in the war against money laundering

Data money
Friday, 31 July 2020 By Mark Warren, Karel Nihom

The rapid – and mainstream – rise of gaming and esports is not all good news for those in the market. With an increase in economic opportunity comes a greater exposure to legal issues. Online game developers currently find themselves managing a market for buying and selling in-game downloadable content – and for crediting and debiting consumers’ in-game accounts.

This is now a market worth billions of dollars a year, subjecting developers and their platforms to the risk of being a target for money laundering. Combating money laundering is not only an obligation that is being placed on banks and other financial institutions. Game developers also need to be wary in order to prevent money laundering coming to fruition on their platforms. This article considers:

  • Game credits as e-currency
  • How game marketplaces have become a target for money laundering
  • The regulatory framework
  • Policy measures for game developers to implement

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Written by

Mark Warren

Mark Warren

Managing Associate, Linklaters 

Mark Warren is a banking finance lawyer at Linklaters. He is an English law qualified solicitor and has been working in international corporate finance since 2012, having worked in London, Hong Kong, Hamburg and now Amsterdam. He advises domestic and international clients across a range of different financial products, including bank lending, structured finance, securitisation, project finance and derivatives.

Karel Nihom

Karel Nihom

Junior Associate, Linklaters

Karel is a Junior Associate in the Financial Regulation practice in Amsterdam. He graduated from Leiden University with a LLM in financial law. Karel advises domestic and international clients on a wide variety of financial regulatory topics, such as licence applications, banking services, payment services, intermediary services and anti-money laundering regulations.

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