April 10, 2019 12:47 pm
Updated: April 10, 2019 12:48 pm

BCLC commissioned report found ‘no systemic money laundering’ from River Rock cheques

Global News

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation says it’s found “no systemic pattern of money-laundering activity” with regards to cheques coming out of the River Rock Casino in Richmond.

The BCLC says it hired Ernst and Young to carry out “cheque by cheque analysis” of payments over $10,000 by casino cheques between 2014 and 2016.

LISTEN: Global News investigative journalist Sam Cooper unpacks BCLC report

It says it commissioned the report after allegations that River Rock patrons were exchanging “dirty money” for chips and then cashing them in for a cheque.

READ MORE: U.S. deems Canada ‘major money laundering country’ as gangs exploit weak law enforcement

The BCLC says out of more than 2,000 cheques, 49 were issued “with exceptions outside of procedure,” which it says were the results of errors made by River Rock Casino.

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Based on that analysis, the “BCLC is satisfied there was no systemic pattern of money-laundering activity” in cheques issued by the casino, in the time studied.

READ MORE: B.C. Liberal minister intervened to raise betting limits, ignoring money laundering warnings about Chinese VIPs

Ernst and Young says in the report it will refrain from expressing any conclusions from its analysis of the data.

But Global News investigative journalist Sam Cooper says cheques aren’t the only way money is being laundered in casinos.

“If you read the report, it says that that didn’t happen a lot. That certainly did happen, some people laundered money that way, quite a lot of money in cheques but it wasn’t a systemic or wide-pattern. So they’ve, from my view, erected a bit of a straw-man and said this type of money laundering isn’t occurring systematically.”

Other methods of laundering money in BC casinos involves having the gambler redeem chips for casino-wrapped cash or using underground banks involving Chinese gangs.

Cooper was speaking on The Jon McComb Show on CKNW.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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