New questions raised following B.C. casino audit

Following the release of a year-old report singling out one casino amid concerns over money laundering, questions are being raised over a perception of a conflict of interest from the report’s authors.

The report by Calgary-based MNP is damning, and has again brought sharp focus to the issue of money laundering, finding over $13 million in $20 bills were being accepted at the River Rock Casino Resort in 2015.

The owner of the gaming resort, Great Canadian Casinos, denied any wrongdoing.

In a statement, Great Canadian Casinos said it “strictly adheres to all regulatory requirements and maintains the highest standards of reporting” irregularities.

Meanwhile, CKNW found a post on MNP’s own website that says it’s “acted as financial advisor and assisted in raising $6-million” for River Rock rival Edgewater Casino.

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Credit: MNP's website

B.C. Attorney General David Eby said he doesn’t know what process the previous government went through when selecting MNP to write the report.

“What I do know is that the report landed on my desk, it was full of recommendations that had never been made public and I thought that it was critically important that the public understand that this discussion was going on behind closed doors.”

Following the report, Eby announced he would be bringing in an independent reviewer to look into the allegations of money laundering in casinos.

But he reassured the focus of the reviewer will not be on only one company.

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“The issues that I’m concerned about that need to be addressed is something ‘is this a serious issue or something that our existing rules are dealing with? Are related to the Lower Mainland?’ And not any one operator.”

Requests for comment from MNP have yet to be returned.

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