The Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino located on the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) was hit with a record $75 million fine at the start of June 2015. The fine was imposed by the US Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as the casino failed to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and willing allowed customers to break the law.
Casinos have been used by criminals to conduct money laundering activities and FinCEN has been closely monitoring casinos to ensure that their money laundering policies are being implemented at all times. FinCEN found that the Tinian casino was the only casino in the Northern Marianas which continued to be non-compliant with the Tinian Gaming Act,
The Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino is owned by Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments Ltd, and majority shareholder, Mega Stars Overseas Ltd. Due to the casinos non-conformance the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission decided to conduct detailed investigation into the casino’s process and procedures. The commission wanted to analyze how much money was coming into the casino, the source of those funds and where the money ended up going.
However, the owners of the Tinian casino choose not to cooperate with the commission and Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission Executive Director Lucia Blanco-Maratita said that because of this unwillingness to cooperate, they would have to shutdown the casino.
In a statement, Lucia Blanco-Maratita said “Unfortunately, the Tinian Dynasty has become a rogue casino. It allowed itself to be taken over by outsiders without the permission of the commission. Those same people refused to submit all the necessary documents required to complete their application so that they could be thoroughly investigated, to determine whether they are suitable, whether they are honest people who will run a clean casino. My job is to protect the public — to protect the people of Tinian. That is what needs to be done and what I am going to do.”
The casino has violated numerous laws and the commission has gone ahead and filed a complaint in the court of law against the casino. The hearing is expected to start in the month of July 2015. Lawyers representing the casino will have a tough case to fight as the US authorities had earlier conducted a sting by posing as casino players and collected incriminating evidence of how the casino violated money laundering policies.