Casino News

River Rock Casino Employee Under Fire for Allegedly Flouting Anti-Money Laundering Laws

Earlier today, Postmedia News reported that British Columbia gaming regulator ordered the revocation of the registration of River Rock Casino’s director of VIP gambler relations Lisa Gao. The announcement came shortly after an investigation into allegations of “third-party cash buy-ins” found out that the casino employee has violated anti-money-laundering rules. Officials explained that the decision is preliminary, pending the results of the final review.

Lisa Gao found herself at the heart of a serious controversy after an investigation into third-party cash buy-ins reported that the woman violated anti-money-laundering regulations set by B.C. Lottery Corp. and FinTRAC (an agency assisting the detection and prevention of white-collar crimes). Her LinkedIn profile revealed that she has worked as a director of VIP gambler relations at River Rock Casino since 2012.

The Ministry of Attorney-General confirmed that last November, the enforcement branch was appointed to conduct an investigation into third-party cash buy-ins involving a River Rock employee. The same month the enforcement branch reviewed the employee’s registration and decided to deregister the casino employee for unlimited time. Supposing that Ms. Gao’s registration remains shut, the woman will be unable to work at River Rock Casino.

However, it seems that she still did not change the working status on her LinkedIn profile. Postmedia’s attempts to reach Ms. Gao for further comment were unsuccessful. Postmedia could not reach also the company behind River Rock Casino, and more precisely Great Canadian Gaming for a comment. In a Monday statement, the chief operating officer of Great Canadian Gaming Terrance Doyle stated that the company has always been compliant with all anti-money laundering directives.

More Information about Gao’s Case

Under Canada’s anti-money-laundering regulatory regime, casino employees are required to send reports about suspicious transactions to FinTRAC. A third party is a person, who has an account in their own name and the person is authorized to place bets on behalf of someone else. FinTRAC warned that such practices help criminals to hide their identity and source of income. Gao’s career profile unveiled that the woman worked at River Rock Casino since 2010. Prior to her experience in the Great Canadian’s casino in Richmond, she worked in China.

In the meanwhile, Peter German is conducting a separate independent investigation into allegations of rampant money laundering activity in B.C. casinos. German is tasked with making appropriate recommendations to stop money laundering in B.C. casinos. In December 2017, Attorney General David Eby announced that the government is ready to implement German’s recommendations without wasting any time. The government has already received the first set of recommendations in December last year. A full independent review is expected to be completed by the end of March 2018.