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S financial system,” the Treasury said in a letter made public on Friday. It said $140 billion is laundered annually through sport betting.

“Increases in sports betting conducted on behalf of third parties are facilitating criminal activity and posing a money laundering risk to the U. The global International Centre for Sport Security reported last year that 80 percent of global sport betting is illegally transacted, and therefore invisible to authorities.

casinos must take steps to combat illegal sports gambling, the Treasury Department has told an industry group in a letter that came just weeks before the Super Bowl, one of the biggest betting events of the year.

The report urged governments to correct what it called a vulnerability of sport betting to organized crime. 1 yields one of the busiest sports book weekends of the year. The AGA, citing the Thomson Reuters article, had asked Fin CEN about its plans to issue guidance.

The letter with guidance for casinos from Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Fin CEN) came in response to a Dec. The Fin CEN letter was addressed to the president of the American Gaming Association (AGA), the trade group for the U. Fin CEN noted that prior to the news of its planned guidance, it had been “planning on communicating to the casino industry directly with respect to a particular concern in this regard.” Regulators and law enforcement authorities are concerned by intelligence suggesting that criminals are making bets with legal sports book operations, using intermediaries, or “runners,” to place bets, the Treasury bureau said. However, illegal sports betting operations around the world, including online outfits, sometimes offset bets they receive by placing casino wagers, law enforcement sources told Thomson Reuters.

22 Thomson Reuters article, which said the department was likely to press casinos to take a greater role in fighting illegal sport book activity. “In these cases, the intermediaries rarely voluntarily disclose to the casino that a transaction is being conducted on behalf of a third party, thereby disguising the third party’s role in the transaction and obscuring the source of funds used to place the bet. Runners have been known to loiter at casinos, keeping numerous mobile phones and tablets near them to receive orders from illegal gambling rings.

This poses distinct money laundering risks for casinos,” Fin CEN said in the letter. The letter reminds casinos that the Bank Secrecy Act requires them to ask gamblers whether their bets are for themselves, and to report any wagers for third parties as suspicious activity.

The letter also reminds casinos that they must take a risk-based approach to compliance, focusing on gaming that presents the greatest money laundering threat.

In a statement responding to Fin CEN’s letter on Friday, AGA President and Chief Executive Officer Geoff Freeman said the group “welcomes continued guidance from Fin CEN.” He added that “members are committed to robust anti-money laundering measures” and that they “invest significant resources to tailor risk-based compliance programs for every corner of the casino, including sports books.” Freeman said the risk of money laundering ”is far greater in the vast, unregulated, illegal sports betting market than in the highly regulated, legal gaming industry.

“While casinos routinely look for suspicious bets at sports books and have worked with law enforcement to identify illegal activity, in some cases leading to criminal convictions, no such oversight exists for the illegal sports betting market,” he said.

The UK government has published its 2017 National Risk Assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The assessment covers the UK as a whole, and operators are encouraged to use the assessment to inform their own risk assessments.