A casino in California is in hot water after facing an investigation by the FBI involving a high roller and $100 million in cash. The Department of Justice has been looking into the Bicycle Hotel & Casino due to an incident involving a Chinese national. The individual reportedly visited the casino over 100 times in an eight-month time frame back in 2016, often walking in the door with duffle bags of cash to wager at the baccarat tables.
The casino did not alert financial regulators of the high roller and it must now pay the price. The venue has been hit with a $500,000 due to ‘looking the other way’ when it came to the big spender.
Details of the Player
Reports connected to the investigation reveal that the gambler had an assistant that would be at the casino with him. On several occasions, the assistance would exchange millions of dollars in cash for chips. The high roller managed to cash in and out $100 million during the eight-month spree at the casino.
In general, when a gambler purchases over $10,000 in chips with cash, the casino must file a specific report. The currency-transaction form is sent to the Department of Treasury along with a suspicious activity report.
According to prosecutors in the case, the casino would file the required reports but use the assistant’s name and not the dealer. This was, of course, a legal violation. Last week, the casino was able to reach an agreement with the Department of Justice on the matter, agreeing to pay the $500,000 fine.
The Bicycle Hotel & Casino must also change its anti-money-laundering measures to ensure that instances like this do not happen again.
The Casino’s Response
Johnny L. Griffin III is the attorney representing the casino. He said that the company does acknowledge it make a mistake regarding the actions taken connected to the gambler. Griffin said that the California casino worked quickly to amend its filings and is committed to ensuring that compliance and reporting programs are followed to the letter and updated as regulations and laws require.
The attorney stated further that he is pleased that the government was able to determine after the investigation concluded that there are no systemic faults by the casino regarding compliance and reporting programs.
The casino has been in operation for many years, first opening back in 1984. The property offers a variety of card game options including pai gow, baccarat, and poker.