Casino Cosmopol Appeals Money-Laundering Fine
Sweden’s government fined one of its own casino properties for violating anti-money-laundering laws. Casino Cosmopol, the branch of the state-owned Svenska Spel that governs casino operations in the country was fined by Sweden’s Lotteriinspektionen regulatory body last month.
The fine amounts to SEK 8 million which is around $881,000. However, Casino Cosmopol is not taking things lying down and has decided to appeal.
The reason behind the fine was that the regulatory body felt that Casino Cosmopol has failed when it comes to fighting money laundering and terrorist financing. According to Lotteriinspektionen, the deficiencies when it comes to combating money laundering were many and there was a strong possibility that money laundering did take place due to this.
Casino Cosmopol currently has four gaming venues in Sweden. This includes locations in Gothenburg, Stockholm, Sundsvall, and Malmö. The main problem that the Lotteriinspektionen has is that many of Cosmopol’s procedures were vulnerable to threats such as money laundering. Added to this was the fact that the casino was failing in keeping accurate documentation and also failed in rejecting transactions of suspect gamblers.
An example of a process that did not meet anti-money-laundering standards was that of video surveillance. All footage was deleted after seven days, which made it difficult to keep track of specific gamblers. There was also lack in monitoring slot machines for suspicious activity.
Casino Cosmopol Fights Back
The casino has decided to fight back against these accusations. The main thrust behind their appeal is that it was unfair for the Lotteriinspektionen to place a set fine on them when the regulatory body had not set any clear guidance or rules for the casino operator to follow.
In the absence of clear regulations and guidance from the Lotteriinspektionen, it can not be considered correct to decide on a penalty fee. We have appealed the Lotteriinspektionen’s decision mainly because we consider that in this situation it is not proportional to issue a penalty. Sanctions shall only be used when other methods such as imposing new licence conditions upon us are sufficient.
Per Jaldung, president of Casino Cosmopol
Representatives from Cosmopol say that a week after the initial decision against the company was made, they had submitted a plan of action to deal with many of the regulatory body’s complaints regarding their policies. They also note that the regulatory body has been monitoring their operations since 2005 and knew their process and procedures. The casino’s contention is that Lotteriinspektionen should have brought up these ‘process flaws’ a lot earlier if they felt there were so many loopholes in the process.
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