* EU executive proposes better surveillance of gambling
* Around $1.6 trillion laundered worldwide in 2009
BRUSSELS Feb 5 The European Union may try to
counter money laundering through online betting sites by
extending legislation beyond casinos to include Internet
The executive European Commission formally proposed on
Tuesday to include online gaming in EU-wide legislation that
seeks to combat fraud. It could become law within two years if
approved by the EU's 27 member countries.
The Commission said by currently only monitoring casinos,
"other areas of gambling (are) vulnerable to misuse by
The Commission also proposed reducing the permitted maximum
for cash payments for goods and services to 7,500 euros
($10,200) from 15,000 euros and submitting shops and traders to
a series of checks if they make or receive large payments.
About $1.6 trillion was laundered worldwide in 2009 - about
4 percent of the world's economic output, according to the
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Online gambling is growing in popularity and companies such
as Britain's largest bookmaker, William Hill, and rivals
SportingBet and Stanleybet, have benefited from the rise
in demand, particularly for betting on sporting events.
But gaming firms have also protested against stricter
regulation, with some countries such as Germany having increased
controls on advertising, as well as limiting the amounts
customers can gamble and increasing taxes on betting.