River Rock Casino Resort Faces New Allegations
The owner of the River Rock Casino Resort, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, was informed of these allegations in a private meeting with the representatives of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, back in April of 2017.
According to available information, the provincial regulator requested the meeting to discuss the whole issue, after it was revealed this casino may have been used for money laundering operations involving VIP players.
Robert Kroeker, Corporate Security Vice-President at the BCLC was the one to inform the operator about the results of the investigation that uncovered foul play at this facility located in Richmond.
Not reporting large cash transactions was a direct breach of the directives given by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada. Under these directives, all casinos in Canada are required to report all transactions exceeding C$10,000 over a period of 24 hours. Such practice allows the country’s anti-money laundering authorities to recognize suspicious transactions, and take proper actions if necessary.
It’s interesting that some of the accounts involved in this affair were for amounts below the aforementioned threshold. It was later discovered that certain players made deposits of C$9,000, which don’t have to be reported to the authorities. These players would then make another deposit, but only after the records were destroyed. Effectively, they would make a deposit well-over the necessary C$10,000, but with no record of them ever completing the transaction.
This illicit practice enabled some of the VIP players to avoid the detailed scrutiny of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre. All of this was presented by Kroeker in the meeting with Great Canadian Gaming Corporation.
In an e-mail sent to the operator prior to the meeting, Kroeker said he wished to make sure there was no misunderstanding as to the nature and importance of the discussion scheduled to take place a week later.
He also added his office took its compliance responsibilities very seriously, especially when it came to those obligations around anti-money laundering, terrorist financing, and personal privacy.
An Investigation Is Still in Progress
However, some of the details were omitted from the report presented to the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, in order to protect an ongoing police investigation.
Great Canadian Gaming Corporation made a response to these allegations soon afterwards, stating it undertook to be in compliance with all regulations and regularly filed large cash transaction reports for all transactions C$10,000 and over.
The operator stated it had electronic copies of all transactions made in their facilities, and pointed out that an independent review had clearly indicated the company had taken all the necessary steps when it came to matters of compliance.
In a statement issued later, the company stated Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and River Rock Casino Resort had not been the subject of any enforcement action regarding its practices or track record for filing required reports.