Do Casinos Launder Money?

Today, one of law enforcement’s major concerns is money laundering. Cons perform this crime by disguising money. To keep law enforcement at bay, they utilize money instruments capable of leaving little or no audit trail. Amongst these instruments is the casino. Casinos act as a perfect cover since law enforcement does not suspect any criminal activity. Historically, casinos have been used as a money laundering instrument because of their high risks of exploitation.

This blog seeks to uncover some of the key issues regarding casinos and money laundering. You will learn the rules involved in casinos, the changes in the sector, and the scope of its operations. You will also learn the many money laundering methods used in casinos. Contrary to what most people believe; money laundering is not an easy task. It is a complex phenomenon and involves lots of engineering to successfully make profits.

The Process of Money Laundering in Casinos

Process of Money Laundering in Casinos

Typically, money laundering is a crime. However, as unlawful as it may seem, it is quite a luxurious venture and involves a large profit. It has the capability of making millions within a very short period of time. So, how does a money laundering business operate in casinos? At a larger percentage, money laundering in casinos takes place in the form of currency transactions.  These currency transactions are usually in credit card or wire transfer form. This is because it is easier to track currency in liquid money than in online transactions.

When you think of money laundering, you might think that it involves manufacturing fake currency with a sophisticated machine. However, money laundry is simply a criminal way of re-introducing money in the market. You can either do so anonymously or through legal establishments such as casinos. Casinos offer the best platform due to its financial structure and the criterion used in its business operations. It is not easy to identify, detect, or even uncover this scheme. You have to have a clear understanding of the techniques and the instruments used in the scheme.

This blog will help you to identify the key signs and outline of the numerous methods used in money laundering. So, what are some of these methods? Read along and find out this among other money laundering indicators to watch out for in the scheme.

Methods of Money Laundering in Casinos

Money LaunderingUsually, money laundering incorporates different methods. The main method is the use of carriers and instruments. Using either of the methods, an individual gets to multiply their cash by a significant percentage. The most commonly used method in casinos is the use of instruments. These instruments can either be cash, chip purchase vouchers, casino cheques, gifts, credit cards, and many more. Another rarely used method of money laundering is structuring of transactions. As simple as it may sound, it is complex and will require you to have quite a good understanding of computers. Below are some of the methods used to launder money in casinos:

  • Use of casino value instruments – This is perhaps the most commonly used method in money laundering. Cons in the industry purchase chips or credits to redeem their value of the methods of payments.
  • Structuring of transactions – Also known as smurfing. This method incorporates the use of distribution of large amounts of money that is separated into small transactions. They are separated into smaller transactions in order to conceal their identity and minimize detection.
  • Refining of banknotes – As the name suggests, this method simply incorporates the use of altering and refining banknotes. This method is mostly used by individuals on a large scale, usually in an organized group.
  • Use of individual accounts and safe deposit boxes – Many casinos use deposit accounts that are less prone to scrutiny by government agencies and financial institutions.
  • Use of false documents and false means of payment – Individuals involved in criminal activities don’t like using their original documents. In most cases, they will use false documentation and forged payments to conceal their identity.
  • Conspiracy for fixed games – This is used by criminals to fake the outcome of a game in order to benefit themselves financially. Casinos are well known to be responsible in the money laundering business using the fixed game conspiracy.

Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017)

New money laundering regulations were set on June 26, 2017. It is now possible to operate a casino with little or no worries about money laundering. However, these rules were further amended and involve some key changes. One amendment is that casino operators operating both remote and non-remote casinos must abide by MLR 2017. Additionally, the rules apply to a casino operating with at least one piece of remote gambling equipment in the UK. This also means that non-gambling casino providers such as betting shops are not covered by the MLR 2017 rules.

Although these rules are strict, this does not mean that cons and other money laundering schemes are not active. Individuals involved in the casino money laundering business integrate new and updated methods, which prompts more amendments of the rules. Clearly, money laundering in casinos may not fade away but can be reduced if proper rules are placed.

How Casino Rules Are Changing and What Casino Operators Are Doing to Amend Regulations

The MLR 2017 rule brought about many changes in the casino departments by introducing strict rules governing the gambling commission. Additionally, MLR 2017 has introduced a system whereby individuals can make consultations and invite feedback from the rules set. What are casinos doing to comply with the amended rules and regulations? They incorporate policies and procedures, risk management, record keeping, risk assessment, senior management commitments, and many more.


Over the years, criminals have managed to come up with ingenious methods to gain wealth in unlawful ways. This has also led to organizations and institutions such as casinos to being used as easy prey. There is no doubt that money laundering is a possibility in casinos and other legal institutions. It is hard to eradicate. However, implementing the right tools can help minimize the occurrences. In addition to the amendment of laws, casinos should pay attention to suspicious indicators and money laundering instruments. It is easy to identify some of the key methods mentioned above. Indicators include an abrupt increase in the volume of transactions and transaction inconsistency with a given customer profile. Another sign is a high volume of transactions involving large sums of money within a short period. Negative or suspicious customer details are another sign among many more.

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Richard Holmes was born in Tampa, Florida and studied computer science at Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola Florida. A devout Baptist, volunteer Sunday School teacher and online gaming fan, Richard works as a part-time systems administrator at Baptist Hospital and part-time professional blogger specializing in statistics, probability and computer science issues. He is an ardent believer in the future of artificial intelligence as a tool for transforming human society for the better, particularly in the area of health care and modern medicine. A chess player, and competitive online gamer Richard actively participates on online gaming tournaments in his free time.