Kenneth A. Blanco the director of FinCEN, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in a speech told casino owners to take care of the suspicious crypto convertible activities happening in their casinos and follow agency guideline for them.
Blanco’s remarks came during a speech at the Annual Las Vegas Anti-Money Laundering conference of August 13th. The Annual Conference at Las Vegas has all the casino owners, guided by the FinCEN about the new guidelines regarding money laundering safeguards every year.
The guidance for the new crypto conversion policy was released in May, by the FinCEN and Blanco’s speech was an introduction to the guidelines to help them comply with anti-money laundering laws according to the United States Bank Secrecy Act.
Blanco showed grave concerns about Las Vegas dealing at casinos, he outlined 2 areas of overlap between CVC, Casinos and other card clubs. Blanco noted that online as well as physical casinos have been increasingly dealing with CVC, and warned them that the casinos dealing with CVC’s are responsible for their own due diligence.
He made it clear that the casino will have the responsibility to track these CVC’s and would be complied to report any or all suspicious activity filing a SAR. He said that this a very important concern for the FinCEN and should also be a concern to Casinos as well.
Blanco also explained that casinos are a target for cyber-attacks and cybercriminals are specifically targeting CVC’s, thus the new guidelines are not to be taken lightly. Blanco said during his speech:
“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.”
An International Concern
The concern of CVC’s becoming a pawn for money laundering is shared by most of the world. India has considered placing a ban on cryptocurrencies altogether over these concerns. The United Kingdom in June also sought advice from FinCEN, over Banking Secrecy Act and the bench-marking of crypto assets for the UK’s Treasury.
The concern of UK only brings people who have an uninterrupted control over other people’s crypto such as executives of crypto exchanges and crypto-based hedge funds. UK also did not have any concern over the dealings of individual investors and blockchain developers.
United States has recently shown concern about the use of crypto assets as money laundering tools. The President of the United States, Donald Trump tweeted about his concerns and since then many officials in the executive office have shown their concerns as well.
Steven Mnuchin the Treasury Secretary of United States in a press conference went farther and even called it an issue of national security saying:
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity, like cybercrime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, human trafficking […] This is indeed a national security issue.