The current money laundering probe in British Columbia triggered after findings of suspicious money transactions in several casinos across the province is now being overshadowed by sexual harassment allegations. According to a respected Canadian news outlet, River Rock Casino is once again in the spotlight, but this time for its handling of a sex assault incident.
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), the province’s gaming regulator and Crown corporation, has launched a probe into the management of River Rock Casino, Global News reported on Friday. The leading Canadian news outlet says that the BCLC is looking into the actions taken by the casino after several incidents occurred in the VIP gaming rooms of the casino resort. One of them includes an alleged sex assault of a VIP gambler on casino employees.
The publication cites an October 2017 letter from Attorney General David Eby, in which he ordered BCLC President and CEO Jim Lightbody to immediately start an investigation. Lightbody had to check whether there were any incidents of sexual harassment or sexual assault in River Rock Casino. Moreover, he had to report on the actions taken by the BCLC and by Great Canadian Gaming, which is the service provider responsible for the day-to-day gaming operations at the property.
The gambling regulator was also charged with revealing whether the management of the casino had, for any reason, failed to report assaults to the BCLC. In addition, Eby required information about any possible non-disclosure agreements signed by River Rock employees. In January, the Ministry of the Attorney General shed light on an investigation against a River Rock Casino employee who had violated FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) directives related to the third party cash buy-ins. It was just one of many inquiries into the Richmond-based casino resort.
The private security firm Paladin was hired to conduct the investigation into the sexual harassment incidents, Global News also reveals. The company interviewed several employees, drew some conclusions and presented a report to Lightbody.
Did Sexual Harassment Incidents Really Occur at River Rock?
No details from Paladin’s report have been disclosed but BCLC spokeswoman Lara Gerrits said that the regulator had reviewed “deeply concerning allegations” and forwarded those to the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch. According to Global News sources, the firm’s report included data for a possible sexual assault. The incident, which allegedly took place in 2016, included an intoxicated VIP gambler who assaulted a female casino employee.
Great Canadian also confirmed that such an incident did occur. A female worker at River Rock casino was “grabbed inappropriately”. The company says it immediately banned the VIP customer who harassed their employee from all Great Canadian facilities in the country. It then contacted the regulator and provided all relevant information and evidence to the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police).