Another Scandal Plays Out for BC Canada Casino

Again, online gambling in Canada proves safer at overseas websites.

Again, Online Gambling in Canada proves Safer from Overseas WebsitesMany times I’ve pointed to facts that suggest internet gambling is safer and better regulated at international casino websites than it is right here in our own land-based casinos. Canada’s gambling establishments have been hacked, with sensitive player information stolen. Dealers have been suspected of, if not caught, cheating the players. They’ve let slide millions of dollars in blatant money laundering, allegedly covered up by gaming enforcement agencies.

Now, there’s a whole new scandal erupting. Again, it revolves around the River Rock Casino in Richmond, British Columbia. And again, questions are being raised about provincial responsibility, authorities covering it up, choosing not to prosecute despite an abundance of evidence. The case is so obvious, some are even questioning whether police bribery may have been involved.

Another Scandal for BC Canada Casino

This time, it revolves around 11 people who were taken into custody back in March; two of which are unnamed employees of the River Rock Casino. Last year, authorities received numerous complaints of “fancy cars” and “dressed up” women frequenting a rented space above an auto detail shop in the middle of the night.

An investigation was conducted by Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and Richmond RCMP over several months before a raid was conducted on March 14, 2018 at 3:00am. The public never heard about this, because officials decided there wasn’t enough evidence to press any charges. However, CBC recently caught wind of it, obtaining documents from a search warrant that tell a very different story.

Raid On Illegal Gambling Den

Upon entering the building, which was said to be rented for storage purposes, police “observed several people sitting around a gaming table and were actively involved in betting with stacks of gaming chips in front of them.” They discovered cabinets filled with stacks of gambling chips, a large television connected to security cameras over the tables, a black backpack with a “large amount of cash inside”.

Five poker tables and one mahjong table were seized. Police also collected a blue notebook said to detail “wagers and payouts”. Officers found $36,260 in cash, and another $15,555 in cheques. Seven men and four women were arrested, all in possession of cash, cheques, and/or chips.

Two of the women were employees of the BC Canada casinos; at least one of which documents conclude was a dealer at one of the tables that night. Three of the men claimed to be professional poker players. One was the owner of a Chinese wholesale business, another an IT consultant. One said he was invited by one of the casino’s dealer over an “online poker strategies club”, and that he’s “seen her at the casino a couple of times”.

All 11 Released; Insufficient Evidence to Charge

Police released all 11 of the individuals that were arrested that night. According to Cpl. Dennis Hwang, spokesman for the Richmond RCMP, “insufficient evidence was obtained” to charge anyone.

Cash, cheques, gaming chips, tables, bag of money, wager and payout ledger, nearly a dozen people caught in the act. Nope, sorry, not enough evidence… exactly how much evidence does one need to lay charges against a blatant illegal casino operation?

The Ministry of the Attorney General says allegations of a registered gaming employee taking part in illegal gambling should prompt an immediate investigation by the BC Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch. No word yet on whether that is happening, or if it ever will.

Online Gambling in Canada Offers Better Protection

We don’t hear about illegal activities at Canadian-facing online casinos that are licenced and regulated overseas. The UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission… these regulatory bodies take their jobs seriously, and don’t put up with any crap. If an operator is found negligent, they are penalized, or worse, without hesitation.

Internet operators licenced in these high-standard jurisdictions deliver the strictest player protections. Background checks are performed on all management and financial backers prior to licencing. Security protocols match that of government-run banking websites. Games are constantly audited for fairness. Player funds are segregated to ensure players receive their withdrawals.

Provincial governments wonder why so many players pass over their home-grown internet casinos, preferring to play with international sites. It’s not just about larger game selection and better odds. It’s because we see just how responsible our government can be when it comes their biggest revenue sources, even where illegal gambling and money laundering is evident. Sad to say, but why should we trust land-based and online gambling in Canada, when there are much more reputable jurisdictions to turn to?

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