B.C. is investigating possible money laundering in Lower Mainland casinos. (Black Press files)

B.C. criminal casino cash-outs fail to turn up in independent audit

Cheques show ‘no systemic pattern’ of money laundering at River Rock Casino

An audit of high-rolling gambler payouts at B.C.’s largest casino has found errors in payouts, but not the “wild west” of money laundering that has been a popular narrative with B.C. Attorney General David Eby and some Vancouver media.

The B.C. Lottery Corp. hired Ernst & Young Canada to audit three years of transactions at the River Rock Casino, for 2014, 2015 and 2016.

“BCLC commissioned the independent analysis following allegations in the media that patrons were coming into the River Rock Casino with ‘dirty money,’ buying casino chips, playing notionally, then cashing the chips in and receiving a cheque in return,” the provincially owned corporation said in a statement with the audit release.

“Based on EY’s analysis, BCLC is satisfied that there was no systemic pattern of money laundering activity related to cheques being issued by River Rock Casino during the three-year period of 2014 to 2016.”

READ MORE: RCMP says it is stretched thin on B.C. money laundering

READ MORE: BCGEU joins call for inquiry into B.C. money laundering

The audit reviewed more than 2,000 cheques issued for amounts of $10,000 or more. They found one where a River Rock employee issued a cheque marked “return of gaming funds” where no game play had been recorded.

A total of 49 were found not to follow BCLC’s anti-money laundering rules, mostly errors where cheques were marked “verified win” when the amount included part of the player’s original buy-in. The rules are tied in with strict reporting laws with the federal Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

Frequently citing media reports, Eby has suggested FINTRAC is collecting reports of suspicious transactions but not acting on them. He hired former RCMP investigator Peter German to investigate, and has begun doling out his findings in stages, accusing the B.C. Liberals of allowing money laundering to proliferate and even assisting it by increasing betting limits.

This week’s highlight was a report that most of RCMP’s dedicated money laundering investigation positions are vacant. The RCMP responded that it has many competing priorities, including terrorism, missing and murdered women and an epidemic of overdose deaths from smuggled opioids, with forensic accountants and other financial specialists in great demand around the world.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Phillip Tallio’s lawyer hopeful for bail at next hearing

Tallio has spent more than 36 years in jail for a murder he says he didn’t commit

B.C. oil tanker ban squeaks through final vote in Senate

Bill C-48 bars oil tankers from loading at ports on B.C’s north coast

Carey Price brings young fan to tears after surprising him at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read