Local media Vancouver Sun revealed that on 9th November this year, Richmond’s River Rock Casino filed a petition in British Columbia Supreme Court seeking to block any further release of documents related to allegations of money laundering at the River Rock Casino Resort. Postmedia News was the media to obtain a number of government documents via freedom of information requests. River Rock’s claim is related to information requests made by Postmedia in May this year. According to River Rock Casino, the documents disclose confidential business information, which may harm the casino’s operations.
Earlier this year, River Rock Casino found itself at the heart of a serious money laundering firestorm, after the newly-elected British Columbia government dug out a shelved year-old casino report into allegations of money laundering at the River Rock Casino Resort, known to be operated by Great Canadian Gaming Corp.
Under B.C.’s freedom of information laws, Postmedia filed a number of freedom of information requests in order to get access to a bunch of important documents related to the case. On Tuesday this week, Postmedia was supposed to obtain some additional information concerning the alleged money laundering activity at B.C. casinos.
Great Canadian Claims Improper Release of Confidential Business Information
On Thursday last week, River Rock Casino soared on news once again after it was revealed that the casino took legal actions to block any further document disclosures to Postmedia until the investigation of Great Canadian’s complaint filed to B.C. Office of Information and Privacy is underway. The casino’s operator Great Canadian Gaming Corp. claims that these documents reveal confidential information related to River Rock’s operations and it may harm the company’s reputation.
Apart from that, Great Canadian claims that it was not informed about the release of such information and it did not have the chance to oppose it. In September this year, Attorney General David Eby released the information related to Postmedia’s freedom of information request, without notifying Great Canadian. Mr. Eby pushed back against Great Canadian’s claims. He explained that he composed his own review of money laundering concerns in B.C. casinos based on information found in MNP’s report.
At last, Great Canadian’s petition asks a judge to revoke a previous decision by the Privacy Commissioner, which presumably refuses to order to B.C.’s Ministry of the Attorney General to stop planned document releases to Postmedia. On Tuesday this week, Great Canadian’s claim was scheduled to be heard by the court. According to Great Canadian’s petition, on 23rd October the company’s lawyers asked the ministry to stop the release of information under Postmedia’s freedom of information request until the company examines all the documents.
In an e-mail on Tuesday, Great Canadian spokeswoman Sonja Mandic explained that the petition is seeking to ensure that the Freedom of Information (FOI) law is strictly followed and no more confidential information is disclosed publicly. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Attorney General commented that the legal counsel is currently working on the defence. He added that the people have the right to know what is happening in their country.