TORONTO – Ontario’s Opposition is calling on the government to halt a deal with a gaming company that is facing money laundering allegations in British Columbia.
The B.C. government has launched an independent expert’s review of the province’s policies in the gambling industry after concerns were raised about the possibility of money laundering at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, B.C.
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The attorney general has said he launched the probe after reading a report about the casino accepting $13.5 million in $20 bills in July 2015 that police said could be proceeds of crime involving Asian VIP clients.
That casino is run by Great Canadian Gaming Corp., which the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. selected in August – along with Brookfield Business Partners LP – to run facilities at Woodbine, slots at Ajax Downs and the Great Blue Heron Casino in the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.
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Great Canadian Gaming has said it has procedures to ensure regulatory compliance are strictly followed, and it is committed to preventing illegal activities at all of its locations.
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OLG notes that Great Canadian is not under a criminal or regulatory investigation in either province and is satisfied the company will operate the Greater Toronto Area facilities responsibly.
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Ontario Progressive Conservative Vic Fedeli says the province should halt the deal while it gathers all the facts about the situation in B.C.
Premier Kathleen Wynne says the B.C. allegations raise questions, and Ontario is paying very close attention to developments there.
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