Best Anti Money Laundering Practices for Casinos
In order to safeguard the casino industry and to minimize illicit behavior, it is advisable for casinos to put in place or to comply with money laundering practices that have been put in place by government agencies. Not only is this good for the casinos, it is also good for the national security and for the financial systems of the countries that they operate in. This will prevent individuals who are involved in illicit activity from using the services of the casino to cover up their ill gotten wealth.
There are some common avenues that launderers use to 'clean' their money through casinos. By identifying what these areas are and keeping them in check, it will be easier for casinos to deter criminals and to reduce money laundering cases.
- In most instances, criminals prefer bigger casinos to smaller ones. Bigger casinos are usually targets as money launderers feel safer there since it will be harder to detect any illicit activity that they carry out due to the large volumes of transactions that take place in those casinos daily. Also, casinos that have a wide selection of financial services are more likely to be picked by money launderers in comparison to casinos that provide fewer financial options. This means that owners of big casinos should be more vigilant about the transactions and activities that take place within their premises.
- It is important to train employees. This puts them in a better position to monitor any suspicious activities or behaviors from clients. Of particular importance are employees who directly deal with clients and the employees who review the financial transactions of the casino. The training programs should regularly be updated to ensure that employees are constantly aware of any new practices or technology that they can use to their advantage when it comes to curbing money laundering.
- It is important that there be a designated employee who is specifically responsible for ensuring that the casino complies with the anti laundering regulations that have been passed by the government. It should be possible for other employees to consult this designated employee at any times concerning any questions that they may have on money laundering.
- Casinos should closely scrutinize any high risk customers, who carry out transactions that could potentially be seen as money laundering. This includes requiring that customers identify and verify their identities. It also includes asking clients to disclose their source of funding, so as to identify whether funds have been derived from legitimate or illegitimate activities.
- In case a customer is suspected of laundering money, information about that customer should be promptly collected without alerting the customer that they are under scrutiny. This includes finding out their name, social security number and noting down any suspicious activity that they are engaged in. The purposes of their transactions are also researched, together with additional information about the individual. A report is then filed. If more than 2 suspicious reports are filed against an individual, then a casino should terminate its relationship with the customer.
- The casino should have its finances and activities audited on a regular basis by qualified auditors. This includes evaluating a casinos book keeping, counterfeit money detection, transaction monitoring, and customer due diligence among other issues. The independent auditors will then report their findings to the relevant authorities. They will also oversee any corrective actions that they recommend that the casino puts in place.
- Casinos are also required to report any suspicious activity that they notice to the relevant authorities. For example, transactions that involve large amounts of money are usually tracked. This includes amounts of up to $ 5,000. Attention should also be paid to individuals who deposit large amounts of money when gambling and then only engage in minimal play before cashing out their money. Also be aware of individuals who deposit money into slot machines and then cash out vouchers, which they in turn cash out at teller's stations without wagering. In addition, be on the lookout for individuals who endeavor to structure their bets to stay just below the reporting threshold.
- It is also important for the casino to review its annual reports on suspicious activity within its premises and then develop guidelines that they can use to minimize criminal activity within the casino. The new guidelines that are developed should be based on the patterns of suspicious activities that have been observed the previous year.