The director of the Financial Crime Prevention Network (FinCEN) said the casino industry needs to be more active in reporting suspicious cryptocurrency transactions.
Speaking at the Las Vegas Anti-Money Laundering Conference, FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco said the agency did not receive the expected number of suspicious activity reports (SARs).
“There is a misconception that if FinCEN has not publicly enforced casinos since last year, the agency does not monitor the work of this financial sector,” Blanco said. “Let me assure you, this is absolutely not the case.”
According to regulatory guidelines published
in May, casinos and card clubs should report “red flags” indicating potential cases of money laundering, evasion of sanctions and other illegal actions ”using cryptocurrencies.
“Casinos should serve SARs when they encounter suspicious activities regarding cryptocurrencies and any cyber activities that are related to cryptocurrency transactions,” he said.
In addition, casinos should develop policies, procedures, internal controls and risk assessments related to crypto assets. Blanco also distinguished between registered casinos or card tables and online gaming sites that function as money transfer companies.
Licensed casinos, online or offline, must operate in accordance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and any laws related to the money service business. Blanco also called compliance with these laws a “national security issue.”
“We know the importance of information that casinos can get about their customers. This information is unique and very useful, ”he said.
Blanco hopes that casinos will develop a “culture of compliance” when individual organizations exchange information with each other and with relevant authorities.