Wildlife Trafficking: The Urgent Challenge for AML Professionals

Wildlife Trafficking: The Urgent Challenge for AML Professionals

In Focus

AML Career Track in Casino Industry

Question:

Can anyone provide guidance on how to begin a career track for anti-money laundering (AML) work in the casino industry?

Response:

I actually came to the casino industry through banking. I established myself as an AML professional with one of the regional banks, and then when the casino posted a position I went for it. I was looking for a better opportunity for myself and they offered me one.

I think I was in a slightly unique situation, however, in that the casino business is new to my state (New York). So, the pool of candidates who have gaming experience is much smaller than it would be in a state with an established casino industry, like Nevada.

That being said, many of the skills and concepts I learned and developed in banking have translated well to casinos. Some of our processes are different, and I will say I find the AML software that we use to be much more rudimentary than the stuff we had at the bank, but the core concepts are the same.

When I applied, I really stressed the foundations of knowledge that I was bringing to the table, such as understanding suspicious activity report and currency transaction report processes. I also stressed my ability to work independently, and confidentially. My CAMS credential helped as well of course.

My advice, if you do get a job in a casino, is learn as much as you can from the floor staff. If your gaming commission allows you to, spend time in the pits, in the cage, etc. I did and what I learned about the day-to-day operations of the casino was super helpful. Also, try not be intimidated by the industry slang. There are resources out there that will help you learn the terms. When in doubt, always ask a pit boss, they know all the lingo. In general, make friends with the floor personnel. Develop some key individuals you can rely on to answer questions and help you look into things. Also, develop a good relationship with your surveillance team. They’re going to be feeding you a lot of info and the better working relationship you have with them, the smoother that will go.

Hope this helps.

Jeremiah Shafer-Lahnum, CAMS

Response:

Thanks for the info! I’m also in banking now so I have I can follow your career track! I’ll try checking into some casinos here in California to learn more about the operations as you suggest. How/who would I contact? I don’t want to do any gambling so I don’t know how receptive they would be.

Kenneth Lee, CAMS

Response:

I would see if the human resources teams at any of the local casinos are offering any recruiting events. Otherwise, just keep an eye out for postings. That’s what I did and I happened to see it. I sent in my resume, got a sit down interview with the director of compliance, and was hired about a week later.

As for gambling, I wouldn’t worry about that. I’m not much of a gambler myself. In fact, I’m actually not allowed to gamble at my casino or any casino owned by the corporation that owns my casino. In some jurisdictions, depending on the gaming commission’s rules, you may be banned from all gambling in the state as well.

I wouldn’t say you need any specific knowledge of how the various games work coming into the job. It’s all stuff you can pick up if needed as you learn the industry. I really couldn’t tell you how to play a lot of the games we have here and I don’t foresee a reason that I’d need to learn.

Anyway, best of luck and if you have any other questions, I can certainly try to help. I’m still relatively new to the gaming industry but I feel like I’ve learned a lot over the past several months and I can always speak to my boss. She has 35 years in the gaming industry, with about half of that in the compliance aspect of it.

Jeremiah Shafer-Lahnum, CAMS

*The question and answers found in this document are excerpts taken from the Casinos Forum. Visit ACAMS forums to read more posts.

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