An influential anti-gambling campaigner has claimed that online bets could be used to fund terrorist attacks on the US unless regulations are tightened.

In an interview with The Guardian, Missouri’s US attorney Catherine Hanaway said the government should keep tabs on where money from US bets end up.

We need to check it is not being used for money laundering, drug financing or terrorism. Because it’s flowing out of the country in an unregulated way, we simply don’t know the ultimate destination.

Hanaway, 42, ran George Bush’s presidential campaign in Missouri before being given the US attorney’s job. Her political career has included an attempt to put the 10 commandments in every classroom.

Her claims follow the recent arrest of the former chief executive of British firm BetonSports in the US, part of a clampdown on online gaming. Note that the 10th commandment talks about ‘not coveting thine neighbour’s house’, which is a little bit like not regulating gambling yet wanting to tax companies like BetonSports.

Hanaway said the company’s practice of taking American bets from its base in Costa Rica caused an unacceptable outflow of money from the US.

This is a very large amount of money flowing on an unregulated basis out of the US. Any time that much money’s flowing outside the US, there are concerns about its destination. Under US laws, legitimate large flows of money are required to be subject to suspicious activity reports.

She also insisted she is far from a “way-out conservative“. Make your own minds up on that one.

Hey, Cathy: the best way of NOT forcing money underground, or encouraging black market economies, is to legislate. Prohibition, which the US has not been historically very good at, is a sure-fire way of losing track of money and losing many billions in potential taxes.