The influential international body that grades countries’ efforts to prevent money laundering has recognized casino gaming companies’ significant investment in anti-money laundering (AML) efforts, reporting that the industry “has a good understanding of risks and obligations,” puts in place “mitigating measures above the requirements” of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and has shown “an increased focus on raising awareness and improving compliance.”
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released its mutual evaluation report for the United States last month. FATF releases such reports once every 10 years, and its 2016 report found, “The gaming industry has taken significant steps to comply with AML/CFT (combatting the financing of terrorism) requirements. Casinos have not only increased their compliance spending but have also put in place mitigating measures above the requirements of the BSA based on their risk.”
Ten years prior, FATF was critical of casino gaming. For example, it said, “Regulators and casinos should work to further harmonize the Nevada Gaming Commission’s regulatory requirements with the Bank Secrecy Act and this should occur as rapidly as possible.”
“It’s no accident that FATF’s evaluation of the casino gaming industry greatly improved from 2006 to 2016,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. “We’re proud of the incredible strides the industry has made not only since FATF’s report of the gaming industry 10 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 advance of the FATF evaluation, gaming companies took aggressive action to improve AML compliance, and the AGA demonstrated these improvements through a groundbreaking report earlier this year. In 2014, AGA also released a first-ever Best Practices for AML Compliance, which it updates annually.
FATF praised both reports by name in its evaluation, saying AGA “works to assist the sector by putting out useful best practices guidance, and the recent study on Investing in America’s Financial Security: Casinos’ Commitment to Anti-Money Laundering Compliance commissioned by the AGA provides a good picture of the understanding of the casino sector and the mitigating measures they have put in place.”