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John Gardiner: Latest Casino News

A Crackdown on Money Laundering

Money laundering has been a constant thorn in the side of casinos worldwide, only last week Californian-based The Hawaiian Gardens received a staggering $3.1-million fine for not abiding by regulations, one of which being not doing enough to stop money laundering. To combat this growing issue, The American Gaming Association (AGA) is issuing updated guidelines that have been designed for casinos to take extra precautions in an attempt to protect the US financial system and thwart money laundering in the premises.

Following the publication of the ‘Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance Best Practices’ the US casino industry indicated its “commitment to a strong culture of compliance”. Some of the outlined advice listed in the report includes recognising the casino’s risk, being vigilant for unusual betting activity, capping withdrawals and more careful examination on gamblers that make frequent transactions just under the $10,000 currency transaction report (CTR) limit.

To summarize the updated guidance, AGA said: “The guidelines in this document must be adapted to match the specific circumstances of individual casinos and companies. Casinos should reconsider their AML/BSA compliance efforts on a routine basis to ensure they account for new risks and emerging patterns of illegal activity.’

Calls for Tighter Regulation in the UK

A Conservative peer in the UK has called for tighter regulations in the gambling industry and insists that the current legislation in place is ‘outdated’ and ‘not fit for purpose’.

He is currently overseeing a £100 million donation from the top 5 gambling companies in the UK and he intends to use it to fight gambling addiction. To decide how the money should be best spent he has formed a committee with one member being Liz Ritchie, a mother of a young man who took his life due to his gambling addictions and spiralling debt. A large amount of money, but still insufficient for the work required, according to Lord Chadlington.

Lord Peter Chadlington is set to announce a new charity called ‘Action Against Gambling Harm’ which is being created to help those with gambling issues. He believes that the exponential growth of the online betting industry in recent years has led to unprecedented levels of gambling amongst young people who do not realise the severity of their actions. With mobile phone games becoming more available for children and these games often have features or add-ons that require payment; Lord Chadlington is campaigning for more study into whether children playing games online led to gambling.