Friday, December 1, 2023

Why Las Vegas Casinos Don’t Like The Cannabis Industry

An interesting juxtaposition has developed since Nevada rolled out its recreational marijuana program. While the state has embraced cannabis, Las Vegas casinos have not. This is despite the City of Sin marketing itself as a cannabis tourism destination and promoting visitors ability to dump excess marijuana in bins outside the airport before heading home.

Much debate has revolved around whether or not the cannabis industry and casinos can coexist, with the Nevada Governor signing an executive order last year requiring the two sides to talk it out. But a recent CNBC report explains why casinos are so worried about cannabis: legal laundering.

Because marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, banks won’t accept cannabis cash in fear of losing their licenses. But cannabis companies don’t like having all that money outside of a bank either. So employees of cannabis companies will turn their cash into chips, gamble a bit, then take a casino check they can then deposit into a bank.

This, in short, is why casinos don’t like cannabis.

“They are regulated as financial institutions with federal regulations because they’re lending you money, they’re exchanging money,” explained CNBC. “This puts them at risk until pot is legal at the federal level. Even though this is completely legal money at the state level.”

“For these cannabis industries they can not take this cash and put it in the bank.”


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