Washington, DC – Ahead of a major international evaluation of the United States’ system for preventing criminal abuse of the financial system, the American Gaming Association (AGA) today released the most comprehensive examination ever conducted of the U.S. casino gaming industry’s compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) compliance.
“Investing in America’s Financial Security: Casinos’ Commitment to Anti-Money Laundering Compliance,” finds that casino gaming companies have significantly boosted their investment and vigilance to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in compliance with the federal Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and associated AML regulations. It also finds that the industry has implemented a sweeping series of customer due diligence procedures to monitor illicit behavior, and has considerably increased the number of Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) and Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filed with the federal government.
The report was commissioned by AGA and facilitated by Big Four accounting and consulting firm, Ernst & Young LLP.
“Gaming sets the standard for maintaining a strong culture of compliance through vigilant reporting, unprecedented investment in anti-money laundering compliance programs and a strong partnership with the federal government,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “The casino gaming industry is dedicated to preventing money laundering, and this report proves it.”
“In an environment where AML compliance is of paramount importance to the gaming industry, stakeholders have made great strides in preventing and detecting illicit behavior,” said Thomas Roche, Partner, Ernst & Young LLP, and the EY Global Gaming Services Leader. “These increased efforts have been acknowledged by regulators and law enforcement agents. Most regulators and officials we spoke with noted that casinos have improved the overall quality of regulatory filings pertaining to AML and continue to aid law enforcement investigation efforts.”
This report comes ahead of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Mutual Evaluation, which assesses countries’ AML and counter terrorist financing policies. The FATF mutual evaluation process results in comprehensive written reports that are used by governments and the private sector to understand the money laundering and terrorist financing risks posed by countries and the financial sectors within them. When making gaming licensing decisions, foreign regulators may use these reports to consider whether an applicant comes from a jurisdiction with strong oversight and controls to combat illicit finance. Similarly, financial institutions use these reviews as part of their calculus with respect to financing and other critical decisions. For further explanation of the importance of the upcoming FATF mutual evaluation, please click here.
The report marks the latest example of casino gaming companies aggressively seeking to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to AML compliance. In December 2014, the industry released the first-ever Best Practices for AML Compliance, which details the various ways in which gaming companies should strengthen their compliance programs and incorporate best practices. An updated version of the Best Practices was released last month.
AGA co-sponsors the BSA conference in Las Vegas each year to bring together regulators, law enforcement officials and gaming industry compliance professionals to share the latest trends and discuss best practices.
About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $240 billion U.S casino industry, which supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to be the single most effective champion of the industry, relentlessly protecting against harmful and often misinformed public policies, and paving a path for growth, innovation and reinvestment.