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Bicycle Casino pays $500,000 settlement after AML investigation


Los Angeles-based Card room Bicycle Casino has agreed to pay a settlement of $500,000 and undergo an enhanced review after a Department of Justice investigation into potential anti-money laundering failings at the venue.

According to a non-prosecution agreement (NPA), the breaches took place after Bicycle Casino failed to appropriately file reports on an individual who conducted millions of dollars worth of cash transactions in 2016.

The individual, a Chinese national, typically played baccarat in VIP rooms with “huge sums of cash that on some occasions he transported to and from the casino in duffle bags”.

A section of the NPA also revealed that in one instance, the customer withdrew $2.0m from his player account at 2:45pm and played in a VIP room under 1:20am the next morning.

It was also found that the customer had relied on an assistant to conduct cash-in or cash-out transactions of over $100m on his behalf. Bicycle Casino admitted that these transactions were incorrectly filed in the assistant’s name, rather than the customer’s name.

In response to the transactions, Bicycle Casino did not file currency transaction reports or suspicious activity reports, which are both required under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) when suspected money laundering has taken place.

Also under the BSA, casinos are required to record the details of any transaction that involves more than $10,000 in cash from one gambler within a period of 24 hours. These details must be reported to the government.

In accepting responsibility for the failings, Bicycle Casino admitted that the customer had gambled over 100 times at its location across eight months in 2016.

Federal prosecutors decided to extend an NPA as Bicycle Casino accepted responsibility for the failings, agreed to pay the stipulated $500,000 and implemented efforts to strengthen its anti-money laundering efforts.

The $500,000 represents the revenue that Bicycle Casino made from the customer suspected of money laundering.