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An Italian politician has asserted that the digital currency bitcoin is providing Italian mobsters with a legal way of entering the gambling sector.

According to Lucrezia Ricchiuti, who is a member of the Italian Democratic Party, she believes that it is possible to link bitcoin to casino operations that are run by the mafia. She is of the opinion that due to a rise in the use of the currency this provides an ideal avenue for the gambling industry in the country to be utilized for tax evasion.

In a report from Press Giochi, an Italian news site, she is reported as saying that it is possible to open a gaming site with bitcoin, giving users the opportunity to operate in the absence of controls and in complete anonymity.

She said:

This means that more and more need to refine strategies to avoid that behind the virtual coins creep [the] mafia for money laundering.

She adds that it’s important to strengthen the barriers to entry in the public system of the games.

Bad Rap for Bitcoin

Since bitcoin first came on the scene its reputation has somewhat been tarnished because of its use in illegal activities, most notoriously through the dark net of Silk Road.

With its ability to be used for people to transact a wide range of illegal activities, the early days of the digital currency will always remain lurking in the background.

And yet, while it has certainly been used for unlawful actions, the fact that the currency now has a market cap of under $15 billion dollars, with one bitcoin worth around $920, according to Coin Market Cap, demonstrates the impact the currency is having and its expanding growth since 2008.

Bitcoin Gambling Accepted

It remains to be seen, however, what Ricchiuti’s next move will be. After all, there are several casinos that already accept bitcoin around the world.

The U.K.’s NetBet became the first U.K licensed online gambling operator to accept the digital currency as payment last year. While bitcoin gambling was also approved in the Isle of Man by the Isle of Man’s Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) in May last year.

These are just a few of the casinos that accept the digital currency. For now, though, it may be a long stretch for Ricchiuti to link bitcoin to the Italian mafia simply because the daily transaction of the digital currency is too low, which may not garner much interest from them.

Whether that changes in the future remains to be seen.

Featured image from Youtube.