Casino Essentials is not only the leading provider for gaming industry specific online training, but for live and virtual conferences and workshops too. For the past 7 years, Casino Essentials has been hosting Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Cage Operations seminars, workshops, conferences and expo halls. At its peak of attendance, the Annual National Las Vegas AML Conference & Expo had 600 attendees and 14 exhibitors. 

Casino Essentials has access to the most experienced legal and compliance speakers in the gaming industry, including Government officials and personnel. In 2019, the 12th Annual National Las Vegas AML Conference & Expo, the keynote speakers were Kenneth A. Blanco – Director, FinCEN, John D. (Don) Fort – Chief, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and Deborah – Connor Chief, U.S. Department of Justice. No other AML event has the unique access to government personnel Casino Essentials offers. Attendees hear from top government officials who are creating and implementing the federal AML compliance laws and standards. 

The attendees favored Director of FinCEN Kenneth Blanco’s Keynote: FinCEN Addresses the Casino Industry most at the 12th Annual National Las Vegas Conference & Expo. His valuable keynote touched upon 4 key components. 

 

First, The technological impact in financial crime detection, particularly in sports betting and mobile gaming;

With last year’s Supreme Court decision legalizing sports betting, it’s important for casinos and card clubs to consider how to integrate sports betting programs into their existing AML programs. Sports betting, and other mobile gaming services run through your casino, are no different than other products and services. FinCEN expects that your casino or card club is monitoring your sports betting programs for potentially suspicious activity. This includes offering sports betting through a mobile app.Whether or not sports betting is offered on or off-premise, your AML obligations are the same. Not only that, we expect your SAR reporting will include cyber-related indicators collected through the use of mobile gaming or betting applications.You must establish and implement procedures for using all available information to detect and report suspicious transactions, or suspicious patterns of transactions, that occur through mobile sports applications.

 

Second, the importance of FinCEN’s recent guidance on Convertible Virtual Currency

In May of this year, FinCEN issued guidance on how regulations relating to money services businesses (MSBs) apply to certain business models involving money transmission denominated in value that substitutes for currency, specifically, convertible virtual currencies (CVCs). within the United States. For casinos and card clubs accepting CVC from customers either on location or through your mobile applications, you need to ensure that this is accounted for in your policies, procedures, and internal controls—as well as your risk assessments. You should also consider how you will review and conduct due diligence on transactions in CVC. How will you conduct blockchain analytics to determine the source of the CVC? How will you incorporate CVC-related indicators into your SAR filings as appropriate? I encourage casinos to closely review both documents on FinCEN’s website to see how we are addressing this industry and its interactions with others in the financial sector. Casinos should be filing SARs when they encounter suspicious CVC activity and any cyber events that affect, facilitate, or conduct transactions. We know that casinos are targets for cyber and cyber-enabled criminal activity such as ransomware attacks and business e-mail compromise schemes.

 

Third, The importance of a strong culture of compliance within casinos; and

    • “This feeds into the concept of having a strong “culture of compliance,” which I know is not something new to casinos or card clubs. It is a theme we have reiterated in our speeches, enforcement actions, and advisories issued since 2014. So it concerns me when I hear about some compliance budgets being cut by casinos looking to trim costs and retain gamblers.

 

    • To be clear—we take the culture of compliance seriously. This is a national security issue: not something to be taken lightly—and we will not take it lightly.”

 

    • “More importantly, a strong culture of compliance promotes breaking down traditional communication and information silos. You need to talk to people other than your compliance people.”

 

Lastly, the Director provided an overview of our ongoing work related to regulatory reform, innovation, and BSA value.

    • “FinCEN recently launched its Innovation Hours Program encouraging financial institutions, FinTech, and RegTech companies to present to FinCEN new and innovative products and services for potential use in the financial sector. The goal here is to provide an environment in which FinCEN can better understand innovation as it happens and provide insight or other regulatory action to ensure that innovation and compliance with FinCEN’s regulations—and promotion of anti-money laundering goals more generally—can go hand in hand.”

 

    • “In the case of using “big data,” FinCEN is able to apply machine learning and other tools to all the reports and other information available to us to identify and build out illicit finance networks and identify new financial crime trends, which we can share with law enforcement, our OFAC colleagues, regulators, and the private sector (such as the CVC advisory mentioned previously).”

 

Other favorite topic sessions included: 

Surveillance Panel: The important role surveillance plays in AML compliance

  • The Director of Regulatory Compliance and Surveillance Manager of Investigations from Rivers Casino – Des Plaines showcase real surveillance video of their casino patrons laundering money at their property. Both speakers shared great insight on what they look for and how important it is to work together from both a Compliance and Surveillance standpoint.

 

Independent Testing: Does your compliance program mitigate the risk of non-compliance? 

  • Jim Dowling and Brian Lopez from Dowling Advisory Group hosted this session

 

IRS Examinations and Hot Topics

  • Manager from IRS BSA Casino Group, Jason Carmen, discussed what the IRS is expecting from casino personnel. Attendees were able to get their questions answered so that they will be prepared during their next audit.

 

Regulatory Intersections: The Interplay of the Rules Surrounding Cyber Security & Anti-Money Laundering

  • Greg Lisa, Partner at Hogan Lovells, LLP, shared his insight and expertise on rules surrounding cyber security as it relates to AML.

 

We received excellent remarks and feedback from our attendees:

  •  It was a great conference, very well prepared and excellent speakers. 
  •  Thank you for another great event. Keep up the good work! 
  •  This will be my last CE Conference as I will be retiring next year. I have so enjoyed the opportunities you have made available through your Conference. I’ve learned so much and made numerous friends and contacts. Thanks for making this all possible. 
  •  My first Las Vegas Conference was great and the content was informative. I’ll be back. Casino Essentials puts on a first class conference. The expo had good vendors 

 

What will you hear at the 13th Annual National AML Virtual Conference

 

Casino Essentials is excited to share that the 13th Annual National AML Virtual Conference will be held virtually this year! This 4-day event, October 19-22, 2020, will feature presentations from the most experienced legal and compliance speakers in the gaming industry. Save the date and join our interest list to learn about the latest Title 31 updates and news from FinCEN and the IRS to help your casino prepare for reporting changes and IRS audits.

 

This event is the premiere Anti-Money Laundering conference exclusive to casino personnel, focused on both Title 31 fundamentals and industry hot-topics. We listened to what the industry wanted to hear at the event by reviewing the survey submissions. The agenda topics range from AML Considerations in a Post COVID-19 Environment to KYC, CDD, and EDD. We will announce the agenda and speaker lineup this week! Join our interest list so you receive the most updated information.

 

Casino Essentials Events provides access to the leading sponsors and exhibitors in the Gaming Industry. The corporate sponsors have supported Casino Essentials for multiple years. 

 

Platinum Corporate Sponsor: Everi Compliance 

Diamond Corporate Sponsor: FABITrack

Gold Corporate Sponsor: NRT Technology 

Gold Corporate sponsor: DiTRONICS