As casinos reopen in the province, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has announced a new task force for the prevention of money laundering.
Canada.- The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has announced that it will enforce the control of cash transactions in gambling venues as the province’s casinos reopen.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) will team up with AGCO to monitor cash transactions at casinos.
Ian Messenger, OLG’s director of anti-money laundering, said: “Money laundering has no place in Ontario’s gaming industry”.
“As patrons return to the province’s casinos and gaming sites, we will be working closely with our colleagues at the AGCO and OPP to proactively identify suspected illicit cash and ensure that appropriate actions are taken using our capabilities and those of our task force partners.”
In April, it was reported that the number of suspicious cash transactions at Ontario casinos has soared. After just 134 in 2015, the following two years saw more than 1,900 combined. In 2018, there were 2,266 cases, with officials estimating a similar number for 2019. In 2020, venues were closed for most of the year.
According to a July 2020 report from the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) “the Covid-19 pandemic, and associated closures and physical distancing measures, has disrupted some money laundering methods—particularly those that rely on the placement of illicit cash into cash-intensive businesses.”