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

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

OP-ED: Striking a balance with the oil tanker moratorium

Dennis Patterson, Senator for Nunavut, on protecting Canada’s environment and economy with Bill C-48

Over $70,000 in grants for crime prevention on the North Coast

Three organizations on Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert and Bella Coola will receive support

MP Nathan Cullen to testify at oil tanker ban committee hearings

Senators travel to Prince Rupert and Terrace as part of fact-finding mission on Bill C-48

UPDATE: Four victims identified in deadly Penticton shooting spree

John Brittain, 68, faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select sailings

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries will be available on the Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Elizabeth May’s B.C. wedding will be a ‘low carbon affair’ on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

Most Read