The SIC, Lebanon's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), receives, analyzes, investigates suspicious transaction reports (STRs) and ensures compliance of banks, financial institutions and other reporting entities with the AML/CFT regulations.
source of thousands of transactions can be a daunting task, but it’s one that
casinos must do in order to comply with government agencies to detect and prevent
money laundering—a crime that legitimizes money derived from criminal activity.
technology, data science, may have a role to play in preventing money
laundering at casinos.
discuss emerging technologies at the 15th annual Anti-Money laundering and
Financial Crime Conference, held at the Aria between Monday and Wednesday.
“If you ignore
financial activity that is being used for criminal purposes, people die,” said
John Byrne, executive vice president of the Association of Certified Anti-Money
money laundering to get rid of bills that can be tied to a crime by trading
those bills for “clean” money, often through casinos, banks, liquor stores, and
other companies with a heavy cash flow.
Treasury estimates a total of about $300 billion a year is generated in illicit
proceeds, with drug trafficking generating about $64 billion a year from
domestic sales. “You want the gaming industry being as vigilant as a bank on
the street corner,” Bryne said.
there’s gap in the system and then people can thrive, terrorist can thrive,
people who abuse the elderly can thrive, and human trafficking can thrive.”
A report from
the American Gaming Association earlier this year found that the gaming
industry as a whole has increased spending in anti-money laundering compliance:
On average, companies with over $3 billion in gaming revenue reported having 60
full-time employees dedicated to complying with anti-money laundering
Chairman of the
Gaming Control Board chairman A.G. Burnett said it’s a hefty task for casinos
to make sure they are complying with federal regulations and making sure they
are doing the best they can do stay ahead of criminal activity.
challenge when you are dealing with criminal activity is trying to anticipate
what criminals are going to do ahead of time,” Burnett said.
technology comes in. The report from the AGA also found that casinos are
investing in full-time hires with specific skill sets in technology, fraud
detecting and anti-money laundering.
Data science and
fraud expert Josh Frank is an example of such a full-time hire, with a title of
director of advanced analytics. He did not want to name the Las Vegas casino in
which he works.
becoming available to proactively prevent and detect money laundering in large
institutions, like casinos.
algorithm that’s looking at (consumer) activity and deciding what looks fair
and reasonable, and what looks like it’s risky,” Frank said. “It is possible
for casinos to employ a sophisticated algorithm that finds anomalies in
patterns that are associated with money laundering.
what those patterns are, Frank said they could relate to the timing, size and
location of a transaction, and the profile of the people involved with the
technology that comes in the way data is handled and manipulated,” he said.
“Finding the right data, organizing it in a way that’s useful — which is a lot
of work — and then the other part, putting it into some sort of algorithm or
statistical technique with the intent to detect patterns.”
Though this type
of technology is commonly used in preventing payment fraud, Frank said it isn’t
widely used to preventing money laundering. “I actually built a model to detect
money laundering using data science in my former position (manager of risk and
data science at computer software company), so it definitely has a place.”