A previously suppressed report on money laundering at a popular casino by accounting firm MNP suggests that Chinese VIP gamblers laid down buy-ins sometimes in excess of $500,000 to wash their proceeds of crime.
The report was also released following an intensive Vancouver Sun investigation into the alleged money laundering activity at British Columbia’s River Rock Casino.
“I received a series of briefings that caused me to believe that our province could do more to combat money laundering at B.C. casinos,” said Attorney General David Eby, who will now hire an independent review of anti-money laundering practices after MNP cited concerns as to how B.C. Lottery Corporation has been tackling the matter.
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In one month (July 2015), the casino accepted $13.5 million in $20 bills alone.
“River Rock staff [members] have fostered a culture accepting of large bulk cash transactions.
“The issue of casinos, [River Rock] in particular, accepting large volumes of cash has now been a growing issue in the province for a number of years,” noted the report.
MNP’s extensive interviews with casino and BCLC staff concluded there are “reasonable grounds to suspect money laundering” via unsourced funds derived mostly from wealthy Chinese gamblers.
“While the patron may be bona fide, the unsourced cash being accepted by the casino may be associated with criminal activity and poses significant regulatory, business and reputational risk,” noted MNP.
– Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com