Based on what the federal authorities are calling ‘severely deficient’ controls on anti-money laundering, Caesars Entertainment Corp. must now pay a hefty civil penalty. $8 million will be paid by Caesars based on activities that took place in the VIP rooms of Caesars Palace Casino. These rooms were created to cater to high rollers, with Chinese nationals being the majority.
Caesars officials admitted to federal authorities that they allowed wealthy visitors to gambler in private rooms anonymously in their Las Vegas Casino. A written statement was handed in by Caesars to the United States Government yesterday which detailed what took place.
The statement revealed that Caesars was lax when it came to monitoring transactions properly with their international marketing offices that are used to recruit players, including those in Hong Kong. Back in January, Caesars filed for bankruptcy with their largest unit in January and the bankruptcy court must now approve the settlement with the U.S. government. Anti-money laundering operations are also still under investigation by the IRS in regards to the company.
The United States Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network stated in the settlement document that Caesars allowed a blind spot to exist in their compliance program with the private gaming salons. This then enabled lucrative and risky financial transactions to avoid scrutiny by the compliance program of Caesars.
Jennifer Shasky Calvery, the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, stated that Caesars knew their customers well enough to entice individuals to travel across the world to gamble and then catered to their every need. When it came to watching for illicit activity, the casino brand allowed for the blind spot in their compliance program. While every business wants to impress their customers, it cannot come at the risk of introducing illicit money into the financial system of the United States, according to Calvery.