Parq Vancouver Quietly Fired Three Cheating Dealers in 2018
The Parq Vancouver fired three cheating dealers in 2018 for colluding with players. Apparently, the dealers were all charged by police, although there is no confirmation of this yet.
Best Local Casino in Vancouver
The Parq Vancouver was an experimental project since being proposed in 2010, built in 2014, and opened in September 2017. If they build the “urban oasis” for $600 million, will people respond in kind?
Parq Vancouver is next to BC Place in the downtown area. It has since become a massive entertainment complex. The complex features two luxury hotels with more than 500 rooms in its three towers. It also has eight restaurants and lounges, 62,000 feet of event space, and a two-story casino. That casino houses 600 slots, 75 gaming tables, a poker room, high-limit slots, and VIP salons for high-end, private gaming.
In 2018, the venue was named“best local casino” in Vancouver.
Parq Casino’s first year of operations was not good. Management has since blamed some of its financial woes on strict anti-money laundering regulations. These require additional staff and impose limits on high-stakes gamblers. The casino subsequently took special care to cover up a number of situations involving cheating dealers that happened.
Cheating Dealers Colluded with Players
CBC News broke the story wide open by obtaining documents that Parq Casino had tried to keep under wraps. Via British Columbia’s freedom of information law, CBC received records showing that three dealers at Parq Casino were charged by police. This followed after allegedly paying a total of $120,000 to players who did not win the money legitimately. In 2018, the cheating dealers were fired. One dealer paid $37,000 to a player, another did the same but with $40,000, and a third handled $43,000 inappropriately.
Parq Casino VP of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance Angela Swan said that employee matters are private, but taken seriously. CBC spoke with a former casino investigator who noted that instances of dealer collusion typically takes place in a game like blackjack. A player adds extra chips to winning stacks over a period of time. The player then gives some of the chips or cashed money to the dealer. It is not a new scheme.
Parq was not the only casino in the area to have faced a problem with dealers attempting to steal chips or commit other types of crimes. CBC also found that of the 8,602 registered casino employees in British Columbia, there were 88 of them cited for improper conduct. This resulted in 79 dismissals, all between January 2016 and October 2018.
Less Money, More Problems
Financial reports show the hotel and casino complex down $108.3 million in the first nine months of 2018, with $17.7 million of that as an operating loss.
In response to the disappointing news, parent company Dundee Corporation blamed the province’s anti-money laundering laws. Casinos recently had to begin filling out disclosures for cash deposits of more than $10,000. However, business expenses to comply with regulations also negatively impacted the numbers. Especially in the first six months of 2018. The rules had just been implemented at the end of 2017. This is why revenue dipped so suddenly, especially in the first six months of 2018. This is following the initiation of training and marketing processes.
The laws prevent money laundering through high-stakes gamblers. British Columbia Attorney General David Eby notes that casinos saw an almost immediate drop in suspicious transactions upon compliance with the new laws. He has subsequently urged them to be patient with the process “in the name of cracking down on crime.” He also suggested that casino operators like Parq focus more on attracting higher numbers of lower-stakes players.
The bulk of the costs of implementing anti-money laundering measures is now behind Parq Vancouver. However, significant losses in 2018 have prompted Paragon Gaming to sell its original stake in the project for an undisclosed amount. Paragon was one of the original three investors in Parq Vancouver. The PBC Group, another one of those three investors, then bought its shares.