|Casino Industry Comes under the Microscope|
Increasing scrutiny is being imposed on the money laundering policies operated by the US's thriving casino industry.
In June this year, the director of the US's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Jennifer Calvery, gave a speech specifically aimed at pushing the casino business into better compliance with US anti-money-laundering legislation – collectively known as the Bank Secrecy Act.
She emphasised that the law requires casinos not only to detect and report suspicious transactions but also to be aware of a customer's source of funds – a requirement that some apparently do not realise.
'FinCEN expects that casinos, like other financial institutions, inquire about source of funds as appropriate under a risk-based approach', she said. Banks and casinos are also expected to share this information with one another, according to Calvery.
The banks have become an important factor in applying regulator pressure on the casinos. They are now expected to check their clients' money laundering compliance before opening accounts for them. Whereas banks in the US used to ask casinos to document their anti-money laundering programmes, they now send inspectors to the casino to test their effectiveness. Partly as a result, suspicious transaction reports by US casinos rose from zero in March 2012 to 3,000 a month at the end of 2013.
The US is not the only jurisdiction where the casino industry is coming under extra oversight. Casinos in Panama, which are not bound by anti-money laundering rules apart from a duty to report large cash transactions, are complaining that some banks are refusing to open accounts for them due to their perceived risks.
The opinions expressed do not constitute investment advice and specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
Published on our website on Aug.29, 2014