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Feds Advise Casinos to Avoid Bets from Medical Marijuana Industry

Feds Advise Casinos to Avoid Bets

Steven Stradbrooke of has reported that U.S. federal regulators have advised casinos to avoid taking bets from customers in the medical marijuana industry.

Despite medical marijuana’s legalization in 23 states, and pending legalization in four other states, banks still refuse to do business with medical marijuana dispensaries because they’re worried they’ll be violating federal anti-drug laws. For this reason, it’s a cash only industry.

Not surprisingly, financial institutions are also avoiding the online gambling industry like the plague, fearful of federal anti-gambling statutes.

Not only are there those similarities between the two industries but Howard Stutz also writes in the Las Vegas Review Journal of even more ties between the medical marijuana and gaming industries. You’ll be surprised by some of these.

Casino owners are already being faulted for a perceived lack of interest in the source of high rollers’ money. It makes sense that they’d be told to avoid dealings with known purveyors of medical marijuana.

But all medical marijuana dispensary owners and workers don’t necessarily look like Cheech and Chong. Today’s medical marijuana industry is probably filled with more opportunistic business minds and entrepreneurs than those that fit the stereotypical stoner profile. It seems virtually impossible for casino workers to distinguish between those associated with the medical marijuana industry and any other patron laying down a substantial wad of cash on the table.  Therein lays the challenge.  

From “Casinos Told Not to Accept Customers Who Work at Marijuana Dispensaries” – courtesy of

“We may have figured out why Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson was so eager to give $2.5m to an advocacy group trying to prevent Florida from legalizing medical marijuana. On Thursday, US federal regulators told attendees at the 2014 Bank Secrecy Conference in Las Vegas that casinos couldn’t accept bets from people working in the medical marijuana industry. The guidelines are the product of the same federal-state schism that has prevented banks from doing business with marijuana dispensaries even in states where non-medical sales are permitted, such as Colorado and Washington...”

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