Canada’s Progressive Conservative Party (PC) urges Ontario government to quash its casino deal with Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. The latter is known to operate River Rock Casino in Richmond, British Columbia, which appeared on Canada’s watchdogs’ radar screens due to suspicious transactions. The scandal stimulated the government to launch a money-laundering probe in British Columbia (B.C.) and closely investigate the case.
At a press conference, which took place this Monday at Queen’s Park, PC finance critic Victor Fedeli officially asked the government to halt the casino deal with Great Canadian Gaming Corporation while the probe is underway. The party urges the government to wait with signing the deal with the operator as it is yet to be revealed if Great Canadian Gaming Corporation is involved in the illicit practices in any way.
Earlier this month, the company released a statement, in which it denies any allegations regarding intentional money laundering practices at River Rock. What is more is that the operator denied that it is a subject of money laundering investigation. Great Canadian Gaming announced that it has always been fully compliant with the regulatory compliance procedures and it invests heavily in fighting illicit activities in its gambling facilities.
As it can be recalled, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has selected Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and Brookfield Business Partners to sign a 22-year long takeover agreement deal, under which the two companies will operate some of OLG’s gambling properties in Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including LG Slots at Woodbine Racetrack, OLG Slots at Ajax Downs and Great Blue Heron Casino (also referred to as the “GTA Bundle”).
In September this year, the newly-elected British Columbia government dug out a buried casino report. It revealed that suspicious transactions of C$13.5 million in C$20 bills took place at River Rock Casino Resort in 2015. The shocking revelation hit the reputation of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation as the company has found itself at the heart of a money laundering scandal.
OLG Reacts to the Opposition’s Claims
Yesterday, OLG issued a statement in response to the Progressive Conservative Party’s demand to halt the casino deal. The agency confirmed that Great Canadian Gaming Corporation is not a subject to the money laundering investigation and that the selected operator is able to fulfill its obligations as a “GTA Bundle” awardee. OLG added that Great Canadian Gaming is registered with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) which proves the operator’s reputability. The OLG’s statement assures that the agency is to keep its eyes open regarding any further updates on the case and it is to take them into consideration when undertaking any more steps.