Great Canadian Gaming Corporation has in a recent statement rubbished reports of money laundering at one of its casinos, River Rock Casino, based in British Columbia. The Ontario PC Party has since the reports, called for the local government to stop its deal with the gaming company – which is to operate casinos at the Woodbine racetrack in Toronto. The corporation denies being under pending investigations for such allegations.
Great Canadian Gaming’s Ontario deal
In August this year, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation selected Great Canadian Gaming – together with Brookfield Business Partners LP – to operate casinos at the Great Toronto Area for a minimum of 22 years. The government-owned entity allocated the two partners to run slots at the Great Blue Heron Casino, Woodbine and Ajax Downs.
However, many in Ontario do not approve of the deal.
PC Party on Great Canadian hosting casinos in Toronto
Ontario’s opposition party, PC, is among the many Canadians which disapprove of Great Canadian’s deal with the Ontario government. The party cites allegations of money laundering at Great Canadian’s River Rock Casino.
In July 2015, a report accused River Rock of accepting an estimated $13.5 million in $20 bills stuffed in hockey duffel bags. The money was allegedly brought into the casino premises via Asian VIP clients.
Following these allegations, B.C’s attorney general, David Eby made an announcement in September, saying that the government was launching an independent probe into the company and its policies. However, Great Canadian Gaming Corp says it is unaware of the pending investigations.
“Contrary to suggestions in certain media reports, to our knowledge our company is not under investigation in any jurisdiction,” the statement reads. Our employees followed all procedures required of them by BCLC and we do not believe our company’s actions would give cause to initiate any investigation.”
Speaking at Queen’s Park on Monday, the MPP for PC, Vic Fedeli stated how his party felt about the government’s agreement with the gaming company.
He says: “I think our main impetus is to ensure integrity in the industry. We’re asking them [government] — halt right now while we gather the facts. I think that’s the prudent thing to be doing.”
Residents in GTA have also established a petition for the casinos set to be run by Great Canadian Gaming. They feel that the casinos will bring among other things; drugs, prostitution, traffic and crime. However, Premier Kathleen Wynne says the money laundering allegations have not been proven in court and he is ready to have the proposed 1.25-million-square-foot casino on site.