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The BC government has been dealing with a potential River Rock Casino money laundering situation since the early 2010s.
In an independent review of anti-money laundering measures in BC, officials have accused high-rolling VIP gamblers from China of going into River Rock Casino and Resort and buying in with wads of cash, sometimes in excess of $500,000, to launder their illegal funds.
One of these high-rolling VIP’s is Dan Bui Shun Jin, who is suspected of laundering $855 million through casinos around the world, most of which are in Australia. Jin was only arrested and deported in May and June of 2018.
Mounties uncovered documents confirming Jin's involvement in the river rock casino money laundering conspiracy through Vancouver International Airport were discovered during a search warrant executed at his hotel room.
Following a Vancouver Sun investigation, Attorney General David Eby revealed a previously suppressed report on financial fraud at the Rock, prepared by accounting firm MNP.
According to the RCMP, suspected of the river rock casino money laundering case, Jin owes money amounting to $855 million through Australian casinos. The United States of America (USA) also issued a warrant for his arrest for fraud totaling $1.4 million. Based on authorities, Jin was arrested with more than $75,000 in his possession.
"I received a series of briefings that led me to believe that our province could do more to combat money laundering at BC casinos," Eby said, adding that he will now employ an independent review of anti-money laundering activities after MNP expressed concerns about the BC. Lottery Corporation's approach.
The casino took in $13.5 million in $20 bills in just one month (July 2015). The personnel [members] at River Rock have fostered a culture that accepts large-scale cash transactions.
"The issue of casinos, particularly [River Rock], receiving significant amounts of cash has now become a rising issue in the province for a number of years," the report stated.
In regards to the erroneous cash transactions, BCLC said it would wait for instructions from the provincial regulator, the Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch (GPEB), and the Ministry of Finance on how to reform in light of such discoveries.
The Former BC Liberal Finance Minister, Mike de Jong, told the Sun that the July 2016 study was kept classified for investigative purposes. As a result, Teresa Wat, whose riding includes the casino, did not reply to Richmond News inquiries.
Meanwhile, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation said in a statement that it continues to conform to current GPEB and FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) laws, and welcomes new ones.
But MNP has still identified flaws in the system, noting that it is difficult for casinos to obtain funds from Chinese nationals. MNP Interviews with casino and BCLC employees revealed that there are "good reasons to suspect money laundering" through unsourced contributions, which are primarily coming from affluent non-residents and local business people with interests in Vancouver and China.
MNP stated that while the individual may be legitimate, the casino's acceptance of unsourced funds may be linked to illegal activity, posing a considerable regulatory, corporate, and reputational risk.
During a two-year evaluation period (2013-2015), MNP discovered that the casino had filed comparatively few suspicious transactions (1,194) compared to the amount of significant cash transaction records (41,187).
MNP also discovered 36 "high risk" players who were on the top 100 list of players by cash volume, as identified by law enforcement.
MNP further suggested that BCLC conducts anti-money laundering online training in Chinese (rather than English) for "high risk exposed workers", due to the volume of Chinese-speaking population in Richmond. The BCLC responded that it would not adjust its language standards.
According to the research, there is an "inherent tension" between regulators who attempt to safeguard gaming's integrity, BCLC, which reaps the majority of the earnings for government coffers, and casinos that work on commission.
The City of Richmond receives 10% of River Rock's annual net revenues, which gives the city of Richmond the option to impose lesser taxes for its residents. In the last 10 years, the city has received $153.7 million from the River Rock Casino alone.
"There have been incidents of Chinese officials laundering proceeds of crime through the real estate industry, particularly in Vancouver," according to a 2016 IMF report. "The Chinese government has designated Canada as a country it desires to pursue recovering the proceeds of Chinese corruption."
But, aligning to the International Monetary Fund’s statement, it comes with a price since Vancouver has been identified as a hotspot for money laundering and real estate speculation. And the River Rock Casino money laundering situation has only solidified Vancouver as a money laundering hotspot, specifically for overseas money.