Island Luck gaming company witnessed a 90 percent decline in client withdrawals and deposits since last November when the company took an aggressive approach to crack down on inter- island money transfers.
The news comes from the company’s Chief Compliance Officer, Neil Major, who told Eyewitness News yesterday that the majority of the company’s 80,000 plus customer base has fully complied with the initiative.
“Island Luck acknowledges the importance of observing the laws as it relates to KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering),” Major explained. “Hence, we have taken the initiative to adopt the best practices of established financial institutions exceeding the requirements of the current gaming regulations.
“Our robust KYC program not only comprises of comprehensive identity and address verification but a legal declaration on the part of the patron attesting to being in compliance with regulatory requirements to engage in gaming activity.”
The measure, Major said, was vital to remain in compliance and illustrates the company’s desire to establish itself as the industry vanguard. Major admits however that there was some push back especially from those in family island communities who are void of banking institutions.
“It was rough in November and December, but it was nothing that we could have done about it as the law required us to do that. But in those Family Islands where people depended on being able to send those funds, there was nothing that we could have done.”
Although there is a demand for financial services to allow inter-island transfers, Major said it’s not a move the company is considering at this time.
Major leads the compliance department, one that he said continues to expand. He recently became a member of the international compliance association and said the company partnered with the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services to spearhead an introductory certificate course in Anti-Money Laundering and Compliance Systems ensure that Island Luck remains on the cutting edge in the industry.
“You know we have been doing this from the legislation. We require just as much information as the banks so we are on par with them as a financial institution.”
Major said they intend to roll out more measure to mitigate the remaining 10 percent of those who participate in money deposits and withdrawals within the coming weeks.