The $500 Loss Limit is a Significant Deterrent to Use of Casinos as a vehicle for illegal Money Laundering. The federal government is currently expanding regulation necessary to limit money laundering by drug cartels and terrorist organizations. The federal government has found that existing federal regulation of, and reporting requirements for, casino transactions are not sufficient to limit or reduce money laundering and that additional regulation is needed. News reports indicate that terrorists were using casinos (including Missouri casinos) in the course of the recent terrorist attacks. Thus, in this climate, it is not a time to loosen the regulations on casinos but a time to -- as the federal government is doing -- consider additional money laundering regulations for casinos and other gambling enterprises.
An investigation by the United States General Accounting Office concluded that, "As the amount of money wagered annually has increased, casinos may have become more vulnerable to individuals who attempt to launder their illegal profits in the fast-paced environment of casino gaming." United States General Accounting Office: Money Laundering - Rapid Growth of Casinos Makes Them Vulnerable, January 1996.
Casinos, including Missouri casinos, are being investigated for possible use by suspected terrorists. See, Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Possible LV Link Probed", September 22, 2001 (Article detailing involvement of suspected terrorists with Missouri and Las Vegas casinos.). Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Evidence Suggests Sinister Business, Not Fun, Brought Terrorists Here." October 3, 2001 (Article outlining continued investigation into terrorists' connection to casinos, including inquiries into whether, "Did hijackers come here to bust out credit cards, or pick up cash?") See also, San Francisco Chronicle, "Agents of Terror Leave Their Mark in Sin City." October 4, 2001, Page A-8.
In light of this situation, recent federal regulation and legislation proposed the U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Department of Justice, "The 2001 National Money Laundering Strategy", September 2001 focuses upon casinos for additional tighter regulation on financial transactions. Existing federal regulation of casinos and money laundering through casinos is perceived to be inadequate and needs to be tightened. See, Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Extension of Regulations concerning Money Laundering at Casinos, July 9, 2001. Also, proposing new regulations tightening the existing $10,000 federal suspicious transaction reporting requirement.