Gateway Commissions New Casino Playing Card Design

Provincial regulators now mandate all playing cards used in casinos in BC Canada to be destroyed on site by incineration or drill.

Playing Cards used in Casinos in BC Canada thought to be destroyed by ShredWise shredding company

Countless unpunched, intact used casino cards discovered in bins owned by ShredWise – photo Lauren Boothby, NEWS 1130

Earlier this month, a whistle-blower investigation revealed that playing cards at Gateway’s Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby had not been properly destroyed by the third-party company hired to do just that. When the British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC) caught wind of it, gaming regulators were so irate they immediately altered the province’s card destruction policies to ensure nothing like this can happen again.

An entire bin full of the cards, in perfectly good condition, was found in a truck parking in Surrey. The bins were owned by ShredWise, the company hired to shred the materials. Those cards were meant to be shredded on the spot, before the truck carrying them left the casino. According to two members of casino security staff, who personally escorted the cards to the truck, that’s what they believed had happened. They say they witnessed the cards being loaded into the truck’s shredder, and thought they had been destroyed.

But according to an unnamed employee of ShredWise, the whistle-blower who reported the incident, this sort of things happens all the time. The employee claims the trucks can’t handle shredding the wax-coated cards. Therefore, they were loaded into the shredding bin, but were never actually shredded.

As for why 17 bins full of undamaged materials – not just the Grand Villa Casino’s playing cards, but sensitive financial records, medical records, uncashed checks and more – were found unsecured and unattended in a Surrey parking lot? ShredWise CEO Tino Fluckiger denies his company is responsible, blaming an employee for failure to follow proper procedure.

The whistle-blower disagrees, arguing that this sort of thing has happened before. It was the employee’s concern for their clients that prompted them to contact local media to report the problem and location of the bins.

Playing Cards Used in Casinos in BC Canada Require On Site Destruction by Fire or Drill

According to BCLC regulations, the playing cards used in the province’s gambling establishments must be disposed of on a regular basis and replaced with new ones. This practice has been an effective preventative measure in thwarting cheating by duplicitous players who may come to recognize and exploit natural wear and tear.

The BCLC has since mandated that playing cards may no longer be destroyed by a third-party company. The casinos using the cards are now solely responsible for their destruction, which must take place on site. Proper methods are limited to incineration or puncture by drill.

BCLC spokesman Matt Lee says the policies regarding playing cards used in casinos in BC, Canada have been strengthened to “mitigate the possibility of disposed, intact cards being put into play.”

In wake of the scandal, Gateway has commissioned its manufacturer to produce a new casino playing card design; another preventative measure to ensure the old cards can never be reintroduced into play at the Burnaby, BC casino.

“We have investigated the observations you reported to us further and have confirmed that the issue was the fault of a third-party supplier who did not comply with the terms of our agreement with them,” confirmed a spokesperson with Gateway. “This is troubling to us and we have taken swift and appropriate action to ensure this does not happen again.”

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