Caesars Holds Talks With U.S. Over Money-Laundering Probe

Updated on

Caesars Entertainment Corp. said it’s holding talks with federal regulators over an investigation into the company’s compliance with anti-money laundering laws.

Caesars Entertainment met with the officials on April 29 and discussions are continuing, according to a filing Monday by Las Vegas-based Caesars Acquisition Co., an affiliate. Caesars had previously disclosed the investigation.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a division of the U.S. Treasury that monitors compliance, said in an October 2013 letter to Caesars that it was investigating the company and may assess a civil penalty. A federal grand jury investigation is ongoing, Caesars said.

Federal regulators have been increasing their scrutiny of casinos as the gambling industry grows more international and concerns about terrorism financing have increased. Jennifer Shasky Calvery, the director of FinCen, has said casinos aren’t sharing information across their business units and that they need to do more to prevent money laundering.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. settled a money-laundering probe by the U.S. Justice Department in 2013. FinCen imposed a $10 million civil penalty on Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in March.

Steve Hudak, a spokesman for FinCen, declined to comment on the Caesars filing.

The 2013 letter from FinCen, which was made public as part of the Massachusetts casino licensing process, said the Internal Revenue Service had investigated the Caesars Palace Las Vegas hotel in 2012 and 2013 and found alleged violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.

That 1970 law requires financial institutions to assist government agencies in detecting and preventing money-laundering by taking steps such as reporting cash transactions above $10,000.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. said last year that the IRS sent a letter requesting information about the company’s top customers to a lawyer representing the Las Vegas-based casino operator. Michael Weaver, a spokesman for Wynn Resorts, said the company hasn’t had any additional contact with the government regarding the matter.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE