A US$2.39 million fine for 182 AML violations: Kangwon Land Inc.

A US$2.39 million fine for 182 AML violations: Kangwon Land Inc.

The firm that operates the only resort in South Korea where local residents can enter and gamble, Kangwon Land Inc., has been fined a total of KRW3.23 billion, or around US$2.39 million, for 182 instances of anti-money laundering (AML) violations.

2022 violations, fine settled

The AML violations, reported by South Korea’s Financial Intelligence Unit (KoFIU), occurred during 2022 and were publicly announced earlier this week. Kangwon Land Inc. Settled the fine back in June 2023, paying KRW2.58 billion—a fee reduction of around 20 percent obtained after the company chose not to dispute the FIU’s conclusions.

  • Of the 182 violations, 181 cases concerned lack of customer due diligence and 1 case concerned the inputting of false information when registering of a customer Allegations of violating customer due diligence laws included:
  • neglecting to confirm the origin of transaction money for 23 customers;
  • “randomly” changing 16 customer records;
  • erasing 158 customer records;
  • failure to retain pertinent customer records for five years.

Towards the end of August 2023, Golden Crown Co., Ltd., the owner of Daegu Casino, was fined KRW1,047.1bn ($735,000) by KoFIU for noncompliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations and reporting deficiencies.

The disclosure of sanction details indicates that Golden Crown was unable to:

  • confirm the identity of five casino patrons using the customer verification procedure;
  • check the information of 58 clients likely to be involved in money laundering,
  • report 13 large-value cash transactions that exceed the reporting threshold.

Gambling in South Korea

Apart from online gaming, there are other avenues for legal gambling when visiting a physical location as a tourist. In South Korea, there are seventeen casinos; however, only one of them—Kangwon Land—allows residents to gamble. The remaining ones are solely accessible by foreigners and are found at popular tourist destinations like Jeju Island and Incheon International Airport.

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