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

PHOTOS: Dads, car enthusiasts flock to annual show

Mission’s Old Car Sunday in the Park takes place every year on Father’s Day, thousands come out

Parents of Mission murder victim want personal belongings returned

Lisa Dudley’s parents, Rosemarie and Mark Surakka, were at the Mission RCMP detachment Sunday

COLUMN: Llamas, goats and snakes, oh my!

Making friends on the Ryder Lake Ramble not a walk in the park

Mission stabbing victim taken to hospital

Mission RCMP are investigating incident, injuries called non-life threatening

Mt. Baker climb next month honours Const. John Davidson

Abbotsford Police chief and Davidson’s three grown children among participants

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Police probe report of shooting as Raptors rally continues

There were reports of a woman being injured at the event that celebrates the team’s NBA title win

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

BC Ferries adds extra and late night summer sailings

Seasonal adjustments to sailing times also in effect on many routes

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

“Approaching and feeding bears contributes to habituation,” says conservation group

Thistle Dew to perform Wednesday on the Twilight stage

The three-part female vocal group performs at Mission’s Fraser River Heritage Park at 7 p.m.

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Federal Liberals’ plan to help first-time homebuyers to kick in weeks before election

Ottawa to pick up 5% of a mortgage on existing homes for households that earn under $120,000 a year

Most Read