Representatives from the United States Department Of Justice and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) used the recent National AML Conference in Nevada to deliver a strong message on money laundering to casino operators and financial institutions.

The conference was held at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, August 16-18th, 2016.

“Make no mistake, the [United States] Department Of Justice will pursue criminal charges and penalties against any financial institution including casinos and card clubs that willfully violate the Bank Secrecy Act,” Deborah Conner, Asset Forfeiture Money Laundering Section Principal Deputy Chief for the United States Department Of Justice.

The Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions including casinos in the United States to fully assist government agencies in the detection and prevention of money laundering and Conner explained that compliance is fundamental to protecting the security and integrity of the financial system.

“Our conference program provides a unique environment where casinos can openly discuss their compliance challenges as a community,” said Mindy Letourneau, Managing Director for San Diego-based Casino Essentials. “Here participants interact directly with government regulators and federal law enforcement agencies to find solutions that can benefit the industry.”

For its part, American casino and card club regulator FinCEN declared that it used the National AML Conference in order to dispel myths related to the reporting of suspicious activities in the casino industry.

“Identifying and understanding a customer’s source of funds is not simply a “best practice”, it is a regulatory expectation,” said Tom Ott, Enforcement Associate Director for FinCEN.

The National AML Conference was organized in partnership with independent casino and financial institution testing firm Dowling Advisory Group while attendees were repeatedly advised that they must file suspicious activity reports on any funds derived from illegal activities.

“At Dowling Advisory Group, we continue to work diligently with our customers and the industry to develop procedures that identify [the] source of funds,” said Jim Dowling, Managing Director for Dowling Advisory Group. “Identifying the source of funds is critical to keeping illicit funds out of casinos and ensuring our clients are not fined.”


This article has been updated to correct information regarding the venue and timing of the conference.