Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino (pictured) has agreed to forfeit US$3.04 million as part of a non-prosecution agreement made with the U.S. Department of Justice, reports the Wall Street Journal, citing court documents in the United States.
The non-prosecution agreement requires the Pacific island casino property to cooperate with the United States in continuing criminal investigations and to overhaul its anti-money-laundering compliance procedures.
A company called Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments Ltd – said to be trading as Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino – was last month separately ordered to pay a record US$75 million fine by U.S. federal authorities for violating that country’s anti-money-laundering rules.
Tinian Dynasty is now reported to have hired Spectrum Gaming Group LLC – a research and consulting firm providing services to the casino gaming industry including advice on regulatory matters – to bring the gaming resort into compliance with U.S. anti-money-laundering regulations.
The island of Tinian is part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), an archipelago with the same status under U.S. law as Puerto Rico.
On June 1, a U.S. District Court Judge on the CNMI’s main island Saipan ruled that the U.S. Department of the Treasury had the authority to regulate casinos in the CNMI. Two days later, the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, levied a US$75 million civil fine on Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino for what the agency called “wilful and egregious” violations of anti-money-laundering rules uncovered by Internal Revenue Service investigators.
Separately, in June 2014, George Que, a VIP services manager from the Tinian property, was one of several managers that accepted a deal with the local U.S. District Court. Mr Que had been charged with a conspiracy to allow gamblers to conduct transactions involving more than US$10,000 without filing the required paperwork with the U.S. government, reported the Saipan Tribune at the time.
The indictment, which was first filed in May 2013, also charged a casino manager named Tim Blyth. Mr Blyth accepted a similar deal from an assistant U.S. attorney, whereby what is known as a deferred prosecution agreement was concluded.
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"The casinos have to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The decision [to suspend casino operations] is up to the government. As of now, we don’t have any plan to change the existing regulations"
Lei Wai Nong
Macau Secretary for Economy and Finance