Hawaiian Gardens Casino fined for breaches

By Mia Chapman Updated
Hawaiian Gardens Casino fined for breaches

The Hawaiian Gardens Casino has been handed a $3.15 million fine for misleading regulators.

Inkedin reports that Californian Attorney General Xavier Becerra reached a $3.15m settlement against the second largest card room in the state, which was found to have misled gaming regulators and infringed the Bank Secrecy Act, a federal law designed to fight money laundering.

The casino has failed to disclose an investigation into its activities by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and tried to deceive the California Department of Justice for years, a Becerra office statement said.

Attorney General Becerra said: “There’s no excuse for failing to comply with the law and deliberately attempting to mislead regulators. In the gaming world, if you fail to play by the rules, expect to pay the price.”

“Hawaiian Gardens Casino is paying the price. At the California Department of Justice, we will do all we can to prevent the marriage of money laundering and casinos.”

Casinos are required to make full and accurate reporting to gambling regulators under the Gambling Control Act of 1998.

For years, the Hawaiian Gardens Casino failed to report, disclose or reveal to the Bureau of Gambling Control that FinCEN or any other federal agency examined the casino under the Bank Secrecy Act; that the casino and FinCEN were involved in negotiations that could lead to Bank Secrecy Act infringements being admitted by the casino; and that as part of the settlement process.

During the investigation, Hawaiian Gardens sent several licence renewal requests to BGC under penalty of perjury, all of which were not revealed.

Nevertheless, when BGC asked the Hawaiian Gardens for details in August 2016, the casino said it had “always engaged in frank and honest dialogue with the regulators.”

California punter illegally wagered online from thousands of miles away

New Jersey gambling regulators have seized more than $90,000 sitting in an online gambling account after the state uncovered a strange connection between the money and its source.

A gambler 3,000 miles away in California was able to gain access to two online gambling sites in the New Jersey and pocket some substantial winnings.

The only trouble is, accessing online sites from California is against federal regulations.

Californian Vinh Dao managed to bypass geolocation technology and gamble online Calvin Ayre reported in March.

The activity was traced back to 2014, shortly after online gambling began in New Jersey, and both the Borgata and Caesars Interactions are now going to have to turn over the funds to authorities.

Online gaming had only been offered in New Jersey for three months when the enterprising Mr Dao figured out how to beat the house and bypass geolocation controls.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are often used to mask someone’s true location, but advanced systems such as the one used in New Jersey were supposed to incorporate secondary means of geodetection.

The state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement has not indicated how much of the $92,613.47 were actual winnings held by Dao, only offering that the amount represented the “completed gaming transactions theoretically owed to Mr Dao by Marina District Development Company, Borgata Casino Hotel, and Caesars Interactive Entertainment, New Jersey.”

The Marina District Development Company was created by MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming.

MGM bought out Boyd’s 50 per cent stake in the organisation in 2016, with Borgata now operating its online gaming operations through a partnership with Party, a company previously owned by bwin.

Mr Dao was allegedly given $2,500 of the near $93,000 sum for cooperating with regulators in the case.

The remaining funds will be divided between New Jersey’s problem gambling programs and a fund for senior citizens and the disabled.

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