Enhance and Protect Casino Anti-Money Laundering Programs

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s Guidance – Sharing Suspicious Activity Reports with US Parents and Affiliates of Casinos

By Ellen Zimiles, Alma Angotti, Anne Marie Minogue, and Gene Bolton 

On January 4, 2017, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued guidance (FIN-2017-G001) that confirms casinos that have filed a Suspicious Activity Report (“SAR”) may share the SAR, or any information that would reveal it filed a SAR, with any of its offices located in the United States, whether it is an office of the casino itself, or an office belonging to a parent or affiliate. Sharing SARs with U.S. parents and affiliates of casinos is expected to assist casinos with improving enterprise risk management, identifying suspicious transactions, and ultimately enhancing the anti-money laundering (“AML”) programs of not only the casino, but also its affiliates and parents. This guidance also describes, for casinos, the entities and individuals for which they cannot disclose SARs. FinCEN explicitly states that this guidance is consistent with the reporting requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act and its implementing regulations.

What this means to you:

  • The guidance encourages casinos to adopt a risk-based approach for its SAR sharing processes.
  • Sharing SARs with affiliates and parents should be a part of your risk management process and a tool to help improve your AML programs.
  • Be cautious that you only share SARs with appropriate individuals and entities, otherwise you may face fines from FinCEN.

To reap the benefits of SAR sharing, casinos may want to consider conducting a gap analysis of current SAR-sharing policies and create an action plan for any deficiencies identified. Additionally, casinos may want to consider documenting process and procedures and developing compliance testing.

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