A video emerged on social media platform last week, where several individuals were involved in a brawl at Grand Villa Casino Hotel & Conference Centre in Burnaby, British Columbia. In the video footage, two men engage in a physical confrontation at the center of the casino’s central areas, and several other bystanders and staff members try to defuse the situation.
Grand Villa Casino Hotel & Conference Centre is located at 4331 Dominion Street in Burnaby, and it has been reopened for two weeks now. After being non-operational for almost a year and a half, gaming properties in the province were allowed to relaunch operations on July 1, as part of the B.C.’s Stage 3 of the reopening plan.
Fight Now Investigated
The RCMP of Burnaby has told local media outlets that are already investigating last week’s physical confrontation at the gaming hotspot. According to the authorities, at least five individuals were involved in the brawl in the casino’s central area including casino staff members who tried to break out of the fight.
The video was first shared in a private WhatsApp group, but it has been later shared on Twitter and quickly became viral. At the beginning of the video two men get into a physical confrontation while another man and a woman trying to break them off of each other. Then bystanders and a hotel-casino employee also join in to try and deescalate the situation.
The Burnaby RCMP stated that the involved have suffered only minor injuries during the exchange of punches. Cpl. Mike Kalanj stated that the police have received a report of a fight from the security at the casino entity on July 8 at around midnight. And when the RCMP arrived at the scene they found a man with minor injuries requiring only stitches.
The RCMP officer explained that the fight was broken up quickly by the property’s security. He also shared that most of the involved have been very cooperative in the investigation, however, a few people have not. Mr. Kalanj suggested that alcohol consumption is a big factor in why the fight has started and said that investigators will be looking into the video in their investigations.
Human Rights Complaint
This has not been the first time that the Grand Villa Casino Burnaby has taken over the headlines. In the summer of 2019, Siobhan Barker accused the casino of racially profiling her while she was on her way out of a dining facility and was asked by security to check her bag and was delayed 40 minutes from leaving the premises. Later in 2020, Ms. Barker filed a human rights complaint against the company in order to seek her rights and justice.
Possible Tax Evasion
In February 2020, Canada Revenue Agency won in court and made it mandatory for slot machines attendants from casinos to pay taxes on the tips they receive at casinos’ gaming floors. Such an example was Cheng Xia from Grand Villa Casino Burnaby, who managed to almost double his annual income in 2011 and 2012. In court, Mr. Xia responded that the money is not taxable as it often originated from clients’ winning.
Source: Ali, Amir “At least 5 people involved in brawl inside Burnaby casino”, DH News Vancouver, July 14, 2021