Cyprus Casinos (C2) said Thursday it was dedicated to industry-leading and best practice anti-money laundering procedures across its operations and was implementing all regulations of the gaming commission.
The statement followed a report by the council of Europe anti-money laundering watchdog, Moneyval, which appeared to be suggesting that Cyprus consider not permitting the casino to expand until it can “responsibly manage” the risk associated with its current configuration. The Limassol integrated casino and resort is due to open at the end of 2021.
Additionally, Moneyval said the licensed casino operator intended to introduce junket services – reaching out to wealthy gamblers and attracting them to their establishment with luxury promotions.
“The enlargement… will undoubtedly increase the ML (money laundering) and TF (terrorist financing) risks and require a number of further mitigation measures. For this reason, the casino was weighted fourth in terms of materiality,” Moneyval said.
C2 said it only operated its business in the regulated area that provides a safe and compliant environment for its business and its clients.
“We welcome a strong and compliant regulatory framework. The Moneyval report review was conducted in May 2019. As indicated in the report, C2 has AML/CTF procedures and controls in place. We have been working closely with the Cyprus Gaming and Casino Supervision Commission (CGC) to implement all AML regulations in the CGC’s AML/CFT Direction that have subsequently been issued in November 2019. We are dedicated to industry-leading and best practice AML/CTF procedures in all our operations.”
Moneyval said during the on-site visit, it became clear to the assessment team that compliance by the casino had weaknesses, and given that it was planning aggressive expansion, including significantly increasing the size of the gaming operations, attracting foreign VIP customers, the assessment team deemed it necessary to focus on and weight more heavily the implementation of requirements by the casino.
“The casino is currently operating at or beyond the limits of its ML/TF compliance and risk management system,” Moneyval said.