They say that online casinos are dangerous. They argue that there are no checks and balances to ensure that money isn’t being funneled through an online poker or casino site for laundering purposes. Opponents of iGaming claim that there is no oversight. Yet it seems it’s the land-based world that we should be paying close attention to.
Caesars has been accused of letting Chinese VIPs gamble anonymously in its high roller rooms, primarily in Vegas but also elsewhere in the United States. The allegations, made by the United State’s Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN for short), state that Caesars was too lax about monitoring transactions at its international marketing offices.
Caesars employs teams around the world to bring in whales, attracting them to various properties in all corners of the globe with promises of lavish treatment wherever they go. That’s pretty much standard practice in the industry, so there’s nothing new there.
But Caesars is required to file reports of any irregular activities. An IRS review shows that they didn’t — apparently more than 100 times. In one example, a foreign gambler’s deposit of $50,000 in cash wasn’t flagged as suspicious. Under US law, it should have been, even it had been a regular occurrence.
It’s likely that the ‘suspicious’ deposits were legitimate. However, the casino company’s blatant violation of the law shouldn’t go unpunished. And it won’t. Caesars is facing an $8 million civil fine (there aren’t any criminal charges here to worry about).
We have to wonder whether this is a regular occurrence in the land-based world. While it might happen online once in a blue moon, it doesn’t happen at reputable online casinos like Silver Oak Casino.
First off, you simply can’t make a deposit that large in the online world. While $500 or $1,000 deposits are possible (or slightly higher if you’re a VIP player), a deposit of $50,000 just isn’t possible. The truth is that people who want to launder money aren’t going to choose an online casino to do so. Nor will they choose an Internet poker site. Instead, they’ll choose the live casino world where things are much, much easier.
In the online world, every transaction is easily monitored since everything is completely electronic. It’s much easier for a criminal to take $10,000, buy casino chips in a Vegas casino, play a hand or two of Blackjack, and then swap the chips back for cash at the cage.
The truth is that online, the frequency of deposits and withdrawals needed to even add up to $1,000 would be immediately caught, not just by governing tax authorities, but by our own internal fraud department.
We know what you’re thinking. Live casinos have anti-fraud departments, too. So why wouldn’t they put a stop to seemingly fraudulent or illegal transactions? The answer is simple. Live casinos deal mostly in cash, so they don’t have a lot to lose. Every transaction at an online casino is electronic, so there is more at stake for an Internet gambling site with suspicious transactions.
Don’t get us wrong. It’s still easy to deposit at Silver Oak Casino, so if all this talk about our anti-fraud measures has you concerned, don’t be. We have these measures in place to keep all our players safe. As long as you’re playing with your own legitimate money, you’re good to go.