Hawaiian Gardens Casino Dealt $3.15m Fine For Misleading Regulators

Attorney General Xavier Becerra of California has reached a $3.15 m settlement against the Hawaiian Gardens Casino. The second largest card room in the state 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 (FinCEN) 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, however, the Hawaiian Gardens Casino failed to report, disclose or reveal to the Bureau of Gambling Control (BGC) 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 this 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.”