Caesars Entertainment Corp. said today that FinCEN is investigating it for potential violations of the Bank Secrecy Act over anti-money laundering compliance issues. The statement was made in its filings with the Securities Exchange Commission. According to the statement, FinCEN is considering whether to assess a civil penalty or take enforcement action. It is the second time in as many months that enforcement agencies have focussed on the gambling sector for anti-money laundering compliance.
Yesterday, according to news reports, Caesars dropped the Gansevoort Hotel from its latest proposed Las Vegas project due to concerns raised by gambling regulators in respect of ties an investor in Gansevoort allegedly has to organized crime in Russia. Earlier in the month, Caesars dropped out of a Massachusetts project after gaming investigators recommended it not be registered in that state over similar concerns. In gambling regulatory law, preservation of the integrity of gambling is paramount and prospective licensees will not be registered if there are potential integrity issues involving suppliers, partners, joint venturers, investors, directors or officers or in any other respect.
Last month, Las Vegas Sands agreed to pay $47 million to settle money laundering allegations involving high rollers at its VIP Room. In announcing the settlement, U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. said that casinos were now on notice that the government would ensure anti-money laundering laws were being applied.