Caesars Entertainment Corp (CEC) has reportedly reached an agreement with the Department of Justice to settle its US money laundering charges. A report from Reuters reads that the casino giant has settled to pay $20 million for the criminal charges of the Justice Department and parallel civil accusations by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (FinCEN).
Two years ago it was revealed that CEC was under investigation for anti-money laundering lapses at its Caesars Palace Casino in Las Vegas. The casino didn’t properly police its sportsbook department and accepted wagers from illegal betting rings. The casino operator also allegedly failed to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, which is the most important anti-money laundering law in the US. In May this year it was reported that CEC would have to pay between $12 and $20 million fine to settle the money laundering charges.
According to Reuters, FinCEN has been pushing the US Department of Justice to settle the matter and threatened to pursue its civil investigation if this hadn’t happened. The insistence has reportedly caused some tension between the Justice Department and FinCEN.
If banks were initially the main focus of anti-money laundering enforcement, US authorities have turned their attention to casino activities in the recent years. In particular, FinCEN gave a $75 million penalty to Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino in June for employing weak anti-money laundering controls and not reporting suspicious activity. The Department of Justice also settled on a $47 million fine with the Las Vegas Sands Corp that was also charged for money laundering.