The casinos in Canada are under fire again, and this time it’s been raised over how certain high roller gamblers received checks written to them in 2016 from BC Lottery Corp or BCLC that are unclear as to the purpose. Allegations of negligent gambling practices and money laundering have been raised, especially as one check was worth CAD$2.4 million or US$1.8 million.
Therefore an investigation has been launched into several casinos, including the River Rock Casino. At the River Rock Casino investigators have found reason to believe that money laundering may be occurring and therefore, have determined it necessary to pull all company files dating from the past four years. The investigation by Postmedia heralded insights that multiple checks to high rollers were categorized as ‘Return of funds – not gambling winnings’, which is a little odd.
Why the Issue Sparked
The issue comes in as quite a few checks were drawn from the BCLC account for their ‘non-cash’ gaming account and to make matters more interesting there is a select number of VIP Asian gamblers involved in the story as well. There is currently no way of identifying if the funds were initially from the bank accounts of the VIP Asian gamblers account or if there were fraudulent actions currently occurring.
If you’re wondering why River Rock Casino is being singled out, it’s because 21 out of 25 of the concerning checks hail from this casino and the questionable amounts this casino sent out range from CAD600 000 right through to CAD2.4 million. Add to the fact that the financial records of River Rock have been unable to provide satisfactory answers based on all previous investigations.
To give an example, one player’s check for CAD600 000 was classed as both winnings from gambling and as a funding check, which leads to the question of what it actually was. There have been other instances of this occurring at the casino as well. All of these cheques have been pulled from accounts that are not intended to be used as pools for players to receive winnings from.
Over the first half of 2016, the combined volume of 387 gaming funds that were in use at the time by the casino had only ten which were actively depositing these checks into the accounts of the high roller gamblers. Bank drafts was the overwhelming majority of how a total of CAD185 million was deposited into the high rollers accounts, which is also a cause for concern.