Key Takeaways from the Virtual AML Event


The 2020 Virtual AML Event was a huge success bringing AML Compliance professionals in the gaming industry together to discuss important topics as it relates to the current landscape. Hundreds of anti-money laundering professionals attended and the event was sponsored by: Everi Compliance, FABICash, NRT Technology and DiTRONICS.

The Vector Solutions Leadership Team saw the need for our industry to coordinate an online event to create a forum for all AML professionals to discuss concerns and brainstorm solutions together, while sharing information. Casino Essentials typically hosts an annual AML conference in-person with 600+ attendees and numerous vendors in Las Vegas, but given the current global climate, the event needed to be moved online. We are proud and committed to continue being a valuable resource for our industry in any way that we can.

We would like to extend special thanks to the speakers that took time out of their daily professions to share their insights and give back to the gaming industry. Thank you to: Jim Dowling – President from Dowling Advisory Group, Brian Lopez – Director from Dowling Advisory Group, Greg Lisa – Partner from Hogan Lovells, LLP,  and Lesley Rockwell – Adjunct Fellow from American Security Project. The speakers were joined by special guest panelists: Jason Carmen – Manager at IRS BSA Casino Group, Lou Rogacki – Deputy Director from New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Lauren Utz – Director of Gaming Compliance at Delaware North, Cynthia Hays – Vice President of Compliance at Betfred USA Sports, Zach Zarnoch – Senior Vice President Chief Compliance Officer at Ocean Casino Resort, Ali Satvati – BSA AML Compliance Officer at Artichoke Joe’s Casino, Lorraine Davis – Director of Compliance at Rivers Casino – Pittsburgh and Kathleen Forbes – Director of Product Management, Compliance at Everi.

Here are the Key Takeaways from each session presented at the Virtual AML Event:

Kick-Off Day – October 6, 2020:

Greg Lisa led the presentation of “State of the Industry: AML Considerations in a COVID World” where he discussed the current state of the industry and what should be considered as casinos slowly re-open.

Lesley Rockwell presented on the topic “FinCEN Update: Cybersecurity Concerns Related to COVID-19 Exploitation” where she shared the recent trend of cybercrime related to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also discussed the recent FinCEN Advisory related to Cybersecurity – FIN-2020-A005 [Advisory on Cybercrime and Cyber-Enabled Crime Exploiting the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic].

Sports Betting Day – October 13, 2020:

Greg Lisa led the presentation of “Industry Update /Government’s Perspective” with special guest Lou Rogacki – Deputy Director from New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to provide the government perspective. Brian Lopez moderated the panel discussion “Sports Betting AML Considerations” with special guests Cynthia Hays and Zach Zarnoch.

Independent Testing & Audits Day – October 20, 2020:

Jim Dowling is a subject matter expert in Independent Testing. He walked through the process of testing casino AML compliance programs and explained that each program is not a one size fits all. It’s dependent on the casino risk-based evaluation and contingent on the culture of compliance throughout the team.

Brian Lopez moderated the panel discussion “Audit Preparedness: Has your Casino been selected for an IRS exam? A step by step on what to expect!” with special guests Jason Carmen – Manager at IRS BSA Casino Group and Lauren Utz. This was a very informative discussion about the steps behind an IRS exam between a Director of Gaming Compliance and an IRS examiner. The exam process was talked through and attendees were able to ask their relevant questions to the direct source!

Know Your Customer Day – October 27, 2020:

Jim Dowling and Brian Lopez moderated the panel discussion “Know Your Customer, Customer Due Diligence, Enhanced Due Diligence: A Review on The Requirements and Expectations” with special guest Ali Satvati. An in-depth overview of the importance of KYC, CDD, EDD was shared, while Ali shared his experience and best practices.

Brian Lopez led an excellent discussion “The Unknown Zone: Dealing with unknown patrons and unknown source of funds”. Attendees gained a better understanding of FinCEN expectations as we walk you through the steps on dealing with unknown patrons so that you are better prepared.

SAR Writing & CTR Filing Day – November 4, 2020:

In this interactive Q&A/polling workshop day, the speakers shared their opinion on how to write excellent SAR narratives and the expectations of filing CTRs. Key points: SAR narratives should strictly include what happened that was suspicious, no additives. When it comes to the new CTR form, everything is required. All available information should be shared on the form before submitting.

The Future of Gaming Day – November 10, 2020:

Brian Lopez moderated the panel discussion “Cashless Play: AML Concerns Going Cashless” with special guests Lorraine Davis and Kathleen Forbes. In this session, Lorraine shared her experience with going cashless, both the advantages and disadvantages. While, Kathleen shared the product that Everi has to offer for cashless gaming – CashClub Wallet®.


Casino Essentials Will Continue to Offer Annual Training Events in 2021!

The 13th Annual National Las Vegas Conference & Expo will be held at the Caesars Las Vegas during the week of 8/9/2021 over 4 consecutive days. We will also continue to host Virtual training and webinar events. Stay tuned for more details to sign-up for future events!

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