Canada investigates BCLC money laundering

The national financial watchdog is investigating the report of money laundering compliance at BCLC casinos.

Canada.- The federal Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) revealed this week that it is investigating the report of 2016 that revealed allegations of money laundering issues at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, Vancouver.

FINTRAC said that is it “reviewing the report, on which it was not consulted, to determine whether any action on its part is appropriate.” Nevertheless, it is certainly not the first time that the centre addresses River Rock’s deficiencies when it comes to anti-money laundering measure, as it surfaced that it sent a letter to the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) last year where the regional compliance manager Robby Judge said that BCLC’s compliance staff acknowledged that AML training was deficient at River Rock.

The official found that 80 percent of the staff had barely understanding of money laundering whilst they were equally unaware of suspicious indicators that are relevant to casino operations. Moreover, it warned that if it failed to meet the legislative provisions, it could lead to civil penalties or criminal liabilities.

The report revealed that Ricker Rock was predisposed to accepting single cash buy-ins of approximately US$400k from high roller VIP Asian clients that didn’t have a reliable source of funds. The gambling facility allegedly US$13.5 million in $20 bills in just July of 2015, most of the money received at unusual times and dropped off outside the casino.

The report was commissioned by British Columbia’s Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch, the government agency that oversees the operations of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), and that received complaints in the past for not bothering to check the money flowing through its gambling venues. “Law enforcement intelligence has indicated that this currency may be the direct proceeds of crime,” said the report.

The newly elected NDP-Green coalition government said that it will conduct an independent review to establish what measures are necessary to comply with anti money laundering laws at British Columbia casinos.

In this article:
BCLC canada money laundering