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Atlantic City Casinos Clean Up Money Laundering

5 May 2003

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "It is a simple way to make dirty money clean.

"Since the first casino opened in Atlantic City, the Boardwalk has attracted criminals looking to launder money.

"By converting illegal profits into chips - and then cashing those chips in at a booth - organized-crime members and other illegal operators easily rid themselves of stashes of incriminating evidence.

"While regulations have kept the practice in check compared to the money-laundering heyday of the 1980s, new organized-crime groups are forcing law enforcement to stay on the alert.

"...As a recent State Commission of Investigation hearing showed, new organized-crime groups from Asia and Europe are emerging in the Atlantic City area. Its members are less familiar to casino security but just as eager to launder cash.

"...In October 2000, New Jersey added a new tool to catch money launders. The state passed a regulation requiring casinos to report any `suspicious activity' involving transactions of more than $5,000.

"...Last fall, the federal government adopted suspicious activity report regulations based on New Jersey's law. The regulation goes into effect for casinos across the country later this month..."

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