Treasury Issues New Bank Secrecy Act Guidance for Casinos and Card Clubs

November 26, 2007

On November 14, 2007, for the first time in several years, the Department of the Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN"), issued Bank Secrecy Act ("BSA") compliance guidance for casinos and card clubs, Frequently Asked Questions:  Casino Recordkeeping, Reporting, and Compliance Program Requirements (FIN-2007-G005).  The guidance, which is in the form of twenty-three questions and answers, addresses questions about what types of gaming establishments are subject to the BSA requirements and questions about compliance with the BSA requirements by casinos and card clubs, including currency transaction reporting (31 C.F.R. § 103.22), recordkeeping (31 C.F.R. §§ 103.33 and 103.36), suspicious activity reporting (31 C.F.R. § 103.21), and maintenance of a BSA compliance program (31 C.F.R. § 103.64).

Among the highlights of the guidance, FinCEN concludes that:

  • If state (or tribal) law defines a slot machine or video lottery operation at a racetrack or "racino" as a "casino, gambling casino, or gaming establishment," and the gross annual gaming revenues of the slot machines and video lottery operation exceed $1 million, the operation would be a casino under the BSA subject to all of the BSA requirements for casinos.

  • Establishments in Nevada and tribal jurisdictions that offer only off track betting are casinos under the BSA if the establishments offer "account wagering" and the gross annual gaming revenue exceeds $1 million. However, a horse racetrack that offers pari-mutuel or other wagering only on races at the track would not be considered a casino under the BSA.

  • Unlike coin transactions, paper money transactions for slot club accountholders identified through slot monitoring systems must be aggregated with other "cash-in" transactions for currency transaction reporting ("CTR-C") purposes. If a casino were to "turn off the dollar counter" slot machine feature, it could be subject to an enforcement action under the BSA.

  • Casinos are no longer required to file a CTR-C (FinCEN Form 103) to report slot jackpot wins paid in currency in excess of $10,000.

  • In order to comply with the suspicious activity reporting requirement, as part of its internal controls, a casino or card club must develop procedures for using all available information, including information in its automated systems, surveillance system, and surveillance logs to identify transactions or patterns of suspicious activity.

  • While not required, a casino should develop an internal control to document the basis for its determination that a transaction was determined not to be suspicious after investigation, i.e., a decision not to file a suspicious activity report. 

The guidance can be accessed at FinCEN Casino FAQs Final.pdf.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher lawyers are available to assist in addressing any questions you may have regarding these issues. Please contact the Gibson Dunn attorney with whom you work, or Amy Rudnick (202-955-8210, [email protected]), Linda Noonan (202-887-3595, [email protected]), in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office or Nicola T. Hanna (949-451-4270, [email protected]), in the firm’s Orange County office. 

© 2007 Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, 333 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90071

Attorney Advertising: The enclosed materials have been prepared for general informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice.