Broad risks in casinos
Casinos are by definition non-financial institutions. As part of their operation casinos offer gambling for entertainment, but also undertake various financial activities that are similar to financial institutions, which put them at risk of money laundering. Most, if not all, casinos conduct financial activities akin to financial institutions including: accepting funds on account; conducting money exchange; conducting money transfers; foreign currency exchange; stored value services; debit card cashing facilities, cheque cashing; safety deposit boxes; etc. In many cases these financial services are available 24 hours a day.
It is the variety, frequency and volume of transactions that makes the casino sector particularly vulnerable to money laundering. Casinos are by nature a cash intensive business and the majority of transactions are cash based. During a single visit to a casino a customer may undertake one or many cash or electronic transactions, at either the „buy in‟ stage, during play, or at the „cash out‟ stage. It is this routine exchange of cash for casino chips or plaques14, TITO tickets15, and certified cheques, as well as the provision of electronic transactions to and from casino deposit accounts, casinos in other jurisdictions and the movement of funds in and out of the financial sector, which makes casinos an attractive target for those attempting to launder money.