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casinos

Organised by Casino Essentials, a three-day conference and exhibition started in Las Vegas yesterday with the opening Keynote Presentation by Kenneth Blanco, Director, FinCEN. Before he got down to the nitty-gritty yesterday, Blanco was chummy with the lawyers and gaming industry reps and in his remarks prepared in advance he said "Thank you for that wonderful introduction, Jim" and "Thank you so much, Mindy, for inviting FinCEN to be a part of this event." So, chummy and psychic? How did the rest of his speech go? We know...

A report in the Vancouver Sun details the amazing failure of a project called "Statistical Analysis Software", currently in its fourth year and so far costing CND7.3 million, to design and implement money laundering risk identification and assessment software at the British Columbia Lottery Corporation's casino business which is deeply embroiled in money laundering investigations by the RCMP. It's a case study in how to stuff up = and now questions relating to the software and its failure are being added to the investigation.

It all began when the Philippines was found to have been the destination for the money stolen from the Central Bank of Bangladesh and, all over the world, fingers began to be pointed at the country's Swiss-cheese like counter-money laundering regime. What was especially bemusing to outsiders was that while the country was on one level constantly engaged in a battle with terrorists in the south, the laws to combat the funding of terrorism were in a similarly poor condition. Stung by criticism, the Philippines began to review its laws. One major area that had been entirely left out of account was casinos. In the past few months, that has dramatically changed.

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