With recreational marijuana now legal in Nevada, home of America’s gambling capital, the casino lobby wants federal marijuana banking guidance on how to deal with money connected to state-legal marijuana markets, as reported by the National Law Journal.
On July 31, 2017, the American Gaming Association sent a letter to the United States Treasury to ask for clarity on how the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s guidelines on marijuana-related banking apply to casinos.
“To ensure that this trend of state-based marijuana legalization does not lead to unintended consequences for the gaming industry’s operations, we respectfully request clarification regarding the scope and application to our industry of FinCEN’s 2014 marijuana guidance,” wrote Geoff Freeman, President and CEO of the AGA, in the letter.
According to Freeman,”the guidance appears designed primarily for banks and other financial institutions that have corporate entity customers. Casino patrons, on the other hand, are individuals.”
With that in mind, Freeman explained, “Specifically, we need to know whether and how casinos should use the 2014 marijuana guidance for filing [suspicious activity reports] on patrons whose gaming funds appear or are known to be from marijuana-related businesses.”
Considering Isaac Dietrich, CEO of the marijuana app MassRoots (OTCQB:MSRT), was banned from the Wynn casino in Las Vegas this past June and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is publicly opposed to legalization, clarification on marijuana banking guidance from the U.S. Treasury may be necessary for stakeholders in both the marijuana and gaming industries.