The Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia is holding daily hearings dedicated to the allegedly criminal practices employed by the casino patrons back in the days. Tuesday saw a conversation with Daryl Tottenham, heading British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s anti-money laundering programs, who said that his reports in the past have triggered no reaction.
The third week of money laundering hearings in British Columbia is currently in full swing, with a daily conversation on the subject and various points of view presented before the Cullen Commission. Commissioner Austin Cullen is a British Columbia Supreme Court Justice, serving since 2001 and he is the individual heading the commission. November 10 witnessed yet another conversation with Mr. Tottenham sharing his experience.
This week, he told the inquiry that the response and feedback he received regarding his money laundering concerns was unexpected, to say the least. Mr. Tottenham revealed more about his observations on British Columbia’s casinos and he shared his revelations with law enforcement agencies on a provincial scale. He made it clear that large amounts of suspicious cash are being poured into the venues.
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation addressed the issue with Fintrac, as well as the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch at the time. Moreover, the concerns regarding money laundering in provincial casinos were also referred to the RCMP along with local law enforcement agencies. The subject was a worrying one for the Crown corporation, as Mr. Tottenham put it this week, since it is its job to monitor the field and make sure no criminal practices are happening.
Some of the instances mentioned in the reports show that a single casino high roller was able to introduce a buy-in amounting to CA$900,000 in cash. This happened over the course of one day and casino management saw nothing suspicious about it. The amount was brought into the venue in CA$20 bills and the Cullen Commission has already heard similar stories over the past couple of weeks.
The casino high roller in question also introduced CA$10 and CA$50 bills while gaming. Mr. Tottenham said that some casino operators have been careful when approaching problematic behavior on the premises of their casinos. Great Canadian Gaming Corporation’s River Rock Casino was one such place. The Cullen Commission allowed the casino operator’s lawyer to respond to the allegations.
Mark Skwarok said that the gaming leader has never put its gaming profit before casino patrons and the people of British Columbia. In order to prove this, he reminded the commission about a sexual assault case at River Rock Casino, in which a high roller groped a female casino staff member. The situation was immediately reported by the casino workers.
Back in the spring of 2018, Paladin Security issued a report showing that high rollers frequenting the casino hotspot have gambled under special conditions and with more freedom. Moreover, Mr. Tottenham also elaborated that the British Columbia Lottery Corporation was not concerned with its gaming revenue when it was performing its duty.