The Hawaiian Gardens casino which also hosts the second-largest card room in California has been fined $6 million for failing to comply with regulatory provisions related to anti-money laundering measures and misleading state gambling regulators.
In a statement, on Thursday, the state’s attorney general said that the casino misled regulators and did not have the anti-money laundering measures implemented as agreed in the licensing terms and also as the state laws mandate.
The casino has been given a choice to comply with the regulations and the settlement approved by the California Gambling Control Commission or risk losing its gaming license.
Commenting on the settlement, Keith Sharp the company’s general counsel is reported to have said that Gardens Casino has strong procedures in place and that several years ago they had put in place the necessary corrective measures to ensure that these issues do not re-occur.
He added that the company and the staff were “pleased” to have reached a settlement. For the Bureau of Gambling Control, this is the biggest ever settlement – the previous highest was $2.1 million.
The casino operator did not report the state regulators the investigations that were being carried by the federal Treasury Department wherein the company was admitting to violating federal law.
The gambling operator also tendered several applications to the state Bureau of Gambling Control seeking to have its license renewed but it knowingly kept the information of federal investigation and the charges it was admitting to.
While there has been no conclusive evidence of “actual money laundering” the casino did hide what should otherwise have been reported to the state gambling regulators.
The gambling facility hosts 225 tables and is a significant contributor in tax revenues collected by Hawaiian Gardens which is also the smallest city in Los Angeles county.