The international body that grades countries’ efforts at helping to prevent money laundering has recognized the progress made by the casino industry in the United States over the past decade and reported that the sector now “has a good understanding of risks and obligations”.
In its latest mutual evaluation report, the Financial Action Task Force found that the American casino sector had also put in place “mitigating measures above the requirements” of the Bank Secrecy Act and had shown “an increased focus on raising awareness and improving compliance”.
The Financial Action Task Force carries out such investigations every ten years and the previous study had been critical of the American casino industry. As an example, the 2006 examination urged regulators and the sector to further harmonize “as rapidly as possible” the regulatory requirements of the Nevada Gaming Commission with the Bank Secrecy Act.
In addition, the 2006 study recommended that the industry take a number of steps to increase its procedures on customer identification and suspicious transaction reporting while further regulating, supervising and monitoring anti-money laundering operations.
But, the most recent study declared that the gaming industry in the United States had taken “significant steps to comply with” anti-money laundering efforts and rules designed to combat the financing of terrorism after not only increasing compliance spending but moreover putting in place “mitigating measures above the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act based on their risk”.
“It’s no accident that the Financial Action Task Force’s evaluation of the casino gaming industry greatly improved from 2006 to 2016,” said Geoff Freeman, President and Chief Executive Officer for the American Gaming Association. “We’re proud of the incredible strides the industry has made not only since the Financial Action Task Force’s report of the gaming industry ten years ago but in the last three years as we’ve built a partnership with the federal government that serves as a model for other industries.”
In response to the Financial Action Task Force’s 2006 investigation, the American Gaming Association released its inaugural Best Practices For Anti-Money Laundering Compliance guidelines in 2014 and began a process to update these on an annual basis.
The Financial Action Task Force’s latest report praised the American Gaming Association and declared that the industry group had worked to “assist the sector by putting out useful best practices guidance” while stating that its recent Investing In America’s Financial Security study had provided “a good picture of the understanding of the casino sector and the mitigating measures they have put in place”.