Canada is still, a decade after it began, dealing with a massive corruption scandal tied to certain casinos and a large money-laundering operation that still hasn’t been completely uncovered. The ordeal has led to high-profile political figures losing their jobs and some criminals involved been targeted by drive-by shootings. In an effort to help clean up the mess, Quebec is planning on introducing a number of new procedures, among which will reportedly be a complete ban of criminals from visiting area casinos.
Criminals Face Banishment from Canadian Casinos
Quebec has been trying to get on top of the issue, announcing last November that it had ordered an independent audit to further investigate the link between casinos and organized crime by taking a closer look at the Casino de Montreal property first. According to The Canadian Press, the results are in and it’s time for regulators to get serious. While the audit didn’t find anything inherently wrong with Loto-Quebec, which oversees the Montreal casino and other state-run gambling properties, it still pointed out a total of 39 areas that need to be improved.
The audit points out that the casino has come a long way and that the improvements relate to past events, not to anything found to be taking place currently. However, in order to help Quebec improve its image, regulations are reportedly going to be introduced that will suspend gamblers who have a “high-risk profile” and will cancel their loyalty program memberships. The cancelation also means the loss of any points the individual may have accumulated. In addition, Loto-Quebec will be given more authority to conduct checks on gamblers, as well as the source of their funds. It isn’t clear when these policies will be implemented.
Cleaning Up Canada’s Casinos
Across Canada, gaming regulators and some lawmakers have been trying to clean up the country’s gaming scene. Billions of dollars have reportedly been laundered through casinos over the year, with some properties taking a willing role in helping facilitate the activity. Most of the money has been traced to organized crime syndicates working in Canada, China and the US, and, despite what has been described at times as just a cursory attempt to improve Canada’s gambling image, there are still reports of money laundering taking place today.
Loto-Quebec is supportive of the audit’s findings and said in a news release that it’s ready to do its part. It adds that it is “constantly on the lookout for best practices in the fight against money laundering” and welcomes the pending implementation of new tools that will allow it to be better equipped to identify issues sooner. One of those tools is enhanced communication between the organization and law enforcement that will highlight “money laundering schemes, typologies and techniques, specific individuals and organized crime groups, and specific modes of operation.”