Money launderers amass dirty money through illegitimate means and convert it into clean money by buying assets, such as real estate, cars etc. Casinos have always been an easy target for money launderers because of the nature of their services and products. Gambling provides a money launderer the luxury of anonymity, choice of cash transactions, and accessibility to multiple premises ― making the masking of the illegitimate money trail a breeze.
However, there are many ways by which casino managers can keep money launderers at bay. To ensure they follow strict procedures to stymie the rise of these criminals, under the MLR 2017, they have been legally obligated to follow these guidelines.
- A thorough risk assessment needs to be done on a frequent basis and adequate safeguards must be placed to mitigate the risks this assessment yields. The risk assessment should not leave out critical issues, such as customer portfolio, remote sites, history of money laundering cases and surveillance in the casino premises.
- Identify money laundering risks, based on an in-depth and revised risk assessment and devise policies and procedures to tackle them. Ensure that every member of the staff is apprised of these policies and procedures and properly trained.
- Senior management must take significant responsibility in making and maintaining procedures and controls to ensure that the risks identified through a comprehensive risk assessment are properly managed.
- Archives of all money laundering policies, cases, procedures and all financial transactions with customers must be safely kept to ensure total transparency. CDD identification and verification record must also be kept for a minimum of 5 years.
- If any sort of suspicious activity is observed on the gambling grounds, a prompt report must be provided to the authorities. The staff must be properly trained to identify attempted money laundering incidents.
- Performing customer due-diligence investigation which involves verifying the identity of the customers involved in high level transactions.
- Assessing these transactions and sending out their reports to concerned authorities, if any suspicious activity is registered.
- Encouraging the use of international credit cards, debit cards instead of cash transactions which are harder to trace.
- Checking the financial assets of a player to measure risk
Preventing the access of minors in gambling grounds
Setting foot on casinos is taboo for anyone under the age of 19 in many countries. Authorities should take full responsibility to ensure that numerous measures are in place to uphold this prohibition. Casinos deal with minors by employing the following strategies.
- Security staff positioned at every entrance to verify the identification of each customer.
- ID scanning equipment to verify age.
- Staff training
- Informing the youth of the hazards of gambling and creating awareness onsite.
The staff’s training holds paramount importance. Trained investigators are stationed to oversee the performance of the security staff. The recruitment process of the casino staff is sophisticated. In order to be a casino gaming floor staff, one has to forego anti-money laundering training before taking control of a particular gaming station. This training equips them to understand their obligations, and promptly spot and repot any suspicious activity on the gambling grounds.
The need for Responsible Gambling
Also, this training helps staffers comprehend the profound meaning of responsible gambling and what it entails. It makes them aware of the possible hazards that arise as a result of problem gambling. It also gives them information about the resources being provided to players and families for responsible gambling.
Reporting Terrorist Financing Transactions
Any kind of money that has been allegedly gained through terrorist activities is not accepted by casinos. Casinos have been directed to file terrorist activity reports if they believe that the gambling money is obtained from terrorist activities. When Lottery corporations find out from a source that the property in its possession or control belongs to a terrorist group, they promptly alert the authorities.
In the past, gambling activities have caused massive troubles to both the casinos and the authorities. That is why there is a pressing need to follow the strict regulations imposed upon by the authorities on casinos to curb the rise of terrorism and suspicious financial activity. Casino must comply and provision their resources to ensure that responsible gambling is practiced on casino grounds. In recent times, casinos have done their best to help the authorities, but further compliance is needed to completely uproot the evil of trouble gambling.