Industry Reports

B.C. Casino Transaction Inspection Contradicts Money Laundering Allegations

River Rock Casino has been the center of attention for the past several months ever since former Mountie Peter German issued his first money laundering report called Dirty Cash. Now British Columbia Lottery Corporation made public the information of recent audit on the casino location showing that there has not been regular criminal activity related to washing copious amounts of cash.

The gambling field of British Columbia is considered prone to attracting foreign individuals willing to wash the proceeds of criminal operation and often illegal drugs trafficking. Such discoveries have been roaming around the public space for the past several months, listed in both the first report and in the second one that is currently being reviewed by the government. An audit drew conclusions based on financial information amassed in the past three years aimed to reveal more.

River Rock Casino Audit Reveals More

Ernst and Young LLP Canada took care of the audit looking into the nature of gambling in the Richmond venue. British Columbia Lottery Corporation wanted to look into the money laundering allegations against the gaming venue including obligatory cheques of payouts surpassing the CA$10,000 mark.

The past 3 years were extensively examined and this audit highlighted no systematic money laundering indications. Over 2,000 cheques were reviewed as part of the audit; each and every one of them was issued between 2014 and 2016. In their entirety, they amount to some CA$280 million, but as it was confirmed by the audit, a very small portion of the overall buy-ins was generated via a criminal operation.

About 50 of those cheques equating to some CA$7 million were considered being in direct breach of money laundering regulations. Percentage-wise this amounts to some 2.4 percent of the overall CA$280 million River Rock Casino saw between 2014 and 2016. This conclusion was submitted to the BCLC, ultimately stating that the venue has not seen regular money laundering taking place. Previous allegations condemned the venue as one of British Columbia’s laundromats.

CA$280 Million in Cheques Were Reviewed

One of the method of money laundering has already been extensively examined in earlier reports and footage. Casino patrons usually arrive on site of the gaming venue with a bag of cash, sometimes in a typical Canadian manner with a hockey bag full of CA$20 bills. The said amount of cash is then used for the purchase of casino chips for action, but eventually, no gambling takes place.

One instance shows an individual buying chips for CA$300,000, then receiving a cheque missing information such as the time they gambled. Another case showed that cheques for winnings reaching millions were being issued once again without the mandatory gameplay information written on them. Information on the individuals linked to said transactions was referred to BCLC.

They have already been subjected to certain limitations such as bans from entering British Columbia casino facilities and demands for cash source information. British Columbia Attorney-General David Eby pointed out that another model including loan sharks was implemented in Richmond. Mr. German’s second report focusing on the real estate field was partly issued this week, revealing a concerning image.

According to it, 25 officers should be working in the RCMP money laundering division, but in fact, only 11 individuals work there at the moment. Moreover, they prefer to focus on civil forfeiture issues instead of investigating money laundering allegations. Mr. Eby was quick to express his shock and disappointment with the inefficient efforts in battling money laundering.