Internal documents found out that housewives and students lead the list of the most common occupations among the high-rollers in Richmond’s River Rock casino. A great number of high-roller housewives spent more than C$14 million in bets and 87% of these transactions were suspicious. The situation is pretty much the same with the high-roller students, who spent more than C$2.3 million in cash at River Rock VIP betting rooms. This raised an important and disturbing question regarding the true source of these groups’ wealth.
An internal review that examines the backgrounds of a number of high-rollers at River Rock Casino aimed at determining whether the player’s occupation can bring them a stable income. That would explain why these VIP gamblers do not even blink at dropping millions on a single bet. Documents revealed that the most common profession among the high-rollers is real estate. According to the reports, there were 135 high-rollers, who were involved in the real estate industry. They spent more than C$1 million in cash deposited in 2015 at River Rock casino.
The second most common profession among the casino’s VIP patrons was “business owner”. This group was followed by the high-rollers involved in the construction business. But what was the most surprising of all was the fact that a number of housewives and students were among the most common casino patrons. The documents revealed that there were 75 housewives among the casino’s VIP patrons. They spent a total of C$14.3 million in cash for chips at River Rock casino in 2015. It is interesting to note that 42 of them were reported to have been involved in suspicious cash transactions.
“Student” was the other most common occupation among the casino patrons. There were 36 students, who spent C$2.3 million in bets. It was reported that one student spent C$819,000 in cash for chips. Speaking of the revelations, Attorney-General David Eby commented that housewives and students are groups of people, who have no specific source of income. Hence, the source of the money they deposited in the casino is questionable. This gave the authorities a good reason to suspect that the “whale” gamblers use huge amounts of small bills to buy chips in B.C. casinos and launder ill-gotten wealth through the casino.
Canada’s Crackdown to Decrease Illicit Cash Inflows
Last fall, Mr. Eby promised to tighten the anti-money laundering measures. The move came shortly after the newly-elected B.C. government released a scandalous report revealing an alleged money laundering at River Rock casino. As a result, Mr. Eby appointed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Peter German to conduct an independent review of anti-money laundering policies in the Lower Mainland casinos. German already presented his first set of recommendations, but the full recommendations will be filed in March 2018.
Canada already had an existing anti-money laundering (AML) framework, but British Columbia’s gambling regulatory bodies and local casinos have been scolded for poor money laundering controls. Hence, Canada is currently focused on imporivng its AML law and close any loopholes in it.