Agua Caliente has formed a compliance program that establishes a committee to help the organization improve efforts to adhere to regulations in domestic and international jurisdictions in which it does business.
Caliente, based in Mexico, takes signals from racetracks in the United States and disseminates them in Central and South America. In early July, the New York State Office of Inspector General, in a report tied to bids for the state’s Thoroughbred racing franchise, noted many high-profile racing operations in North America have business relationships with Hipodromo de Agua Caliente, a bookmaker linked to money-laundering activities for a major Mexican drug cartel.
“As a leader in the industry, it is Caliente’s obligation to ensure that we operate with the highest level of integrity and honesty,” Caliente president Eduardo Hernandez said in a statement. “It’s to our advantage and the industry’s benefit to boldly demonstrate that commitment in everything we do. We have worked hard over the last several months to put the right pieces in place. The formation of this committee, staffed by individuals whose integrity is above reproach, is one more step in that direction.”
According to a release, the program is designed to ensure compliance with gaming laws applicable to business operations in all jurisdictions in which the company operates; establish a formal process for systematic review of matters with ethical considerations; advise the company’s board of directors of situations that could adversely affect the company; provide reports; perform due diligence; and communicate regularly with state and federal regulators.
The compliance committee will have four members. Two of them have been named: Timothy McNally, a former high-ranking member of the FBI, will serve as chairman, while Gonzalo Hoyos has almost 40 years of experience in the accounting business.
In the statement, Hernandez also said the compliance program was formed “to provide greater access to the company so that information can be more freely exchanged and reduce the risk that dated or inaccurate information finds its way into the marketplace.”
The release made no mention of the companies with which Caliente does business.