Gaming Group Releases Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines
An association representing the gaming industry recently published a set of best practices to help its members curb suspicious financial activity within the industry.
To help protect casinos, internet gaming sites, and the broader financial system from money launderers, the American Gaming Association (AGA) released a set of anti-money laundering best practices earlier this month. Created in conjunction with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury, the first-ever best practices address money laundering risks, including a number of “red flags” specifically tailored to the gaming industry, requirements, and preventative steps casinos can take to ensure compliance with money laundering laws. “While the vast majority of patrons visit casinos for entertainment, those engaged in illegal activity may attempt to use the casino’s financial services to conceal or transfer illicit wealth,” AGA said in a statement. “Today’s release of the best practices is an important step toward achieving the goals the industry shares with regulators and law enforcement: protecting the integrity of gaming and keeping illicit funds out of our nation’s casinos.” Under the Bank Secrecy Act, casinos are considered financial institutions and are required to be on the lookout for potentially illegal financial transactions. AGA’s guidelines are an attempt to distill some of the best practices casinos and internet gaming sites are already using to adhere to the BSA and anti-money laundering regulations, and they are meant as a resource, not a checklist, the association noted in the document. “In some instances, industry practices may go beyond a legal requirement established by statute or regulation, so this document should not be considered a guide to those legal requirements,” AGA wrote. “In addition, a casino may have good reasons for departing from or modifying a procedure in this document, or for developing supplemental or alternative procedures, including appropriate approvals and documentation of decision-making.” Recently, several U.S. casino companies have come under investigation for possible violation of money laundering laws, including Wynn Resorts. According to The Wall Street Journal, prosecutorsfrom the Manhattan and Las Vegas U.S. Attorney’s offices and investigators from the Internal Revenue Service and Drug Enforcement Administration are looking into whether the company violated such laws via sports-betting activities and dealings with high-roller gamblers. The Las Vegas Sands Corporation and Caesars Entertainment Corporation have also come under government investigation involving money laundering laws within the last two years.