Aug 31

Live sports betting now available at these authorized websites.

Live Sports Betting Now Available in Canada at These Authorized Websites

The wait is finally over. Locally authorized single-game and live betting on sports is not just a dream anymore. It’s not a piece of legislation moving through Parliament. It’s real, and its here, and its available right now at most provincial iGaming websites.

We’ll tell you which Canadian online sportsbooks are offering the newly regulated form of sports betting, and which types of wagers they’re offering. We’ll also offer some alternative options for those of you residing in a province or territory where legal live betting and single-game wagers are not (yet) available.

Single & Live Sports Betting in Canada

Let’s cut right to the chase. The following is an alphabetical chart that details which provinces and territories offer which types of online sports betting, if any. Note that live betting and single-game betting are Canada’s newly authorized ways to bet on sports. Parlay wagers refer to the old, multi-pick style of betting that’s been around for decades.

Continue below the chart to learn more about the individual sports gambling opportunities in each location.

LocationLive BettingSingle-GameParlay Bets
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador
Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia
Nunavut
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Yukon

Please note that the information in the above chart is current as of writing (Aug 31, 2021). Some locations were not able to launch an expanded sports betting platform on opening day (August 27, 2021). Alberta, for example, has made clear its intentions to launch single-game and live betting options in the fall.

Alberta

All gambling activities are regulated by Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC), which operates the online gambling portal, PlayAlberta.ca. The website is not yet equipped with any form of sports betting. However, the regulators stated in early August that a full sports betting regiment would come to the website sometime this fall.

British Columbia

The British Columbia Gaming Corp (BCLC) is responsible for all gaming in the province. BCLC operates the online gambling portal, PlayNow.com. Through this website, sports fans can participate in all major forms of sports betting, including single-game bets, live bets and classic parlays. The website is also available to legal-age residents of Manitoba.

Manitoba

The Manitoba Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority (LGCA) signed an agreement with BCLC years ago to share use of its website, PlayNow.com. The shared player contract gives Manitobans access to the same single-game, live, and parlay betting options as BC residents.

New Brunswick

Part of Atlantic Canada, all gaming in New Brunswick is regulated by the Atlantic Lottery Corp (ALC). Through its website, ALC.ca, sports bettors can access everything from parlays, props, and futures, to single-game and fantasy betting. However, there is no live betting available at this time.

This information also applies to the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.

Newfoundland & Labrador

See New Brunswick.

Northwest Territories

None. While the Northwest Territories offers retail lottery and Sports Select wagering through the Western Canada Lottery Corp (WCLC), there is no option to bet online. According to the WCLC, its Sports Select platform will soon include single-game betting, but again, it appears it’s going to be retail (in-person) only.

The exact same information applies to the territories of Nunavut and Yukon.

Nova Scotia

None. Although Nova Scotia is a part of Atlantic Canada, the province does not authorize access to the region’s ALC.ca online gambling portal. All sports betting must be done in person through a retail outlet.

Nunavut

See Northwest Territories.

Ontario

All gambling activities are regulated by the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp (OLG), which offers internet gambling options through its website, PlayOLG.ca. Last week, the Crown Corporation launched what it calls “Pro-Line+”, a new version of the original parlay-only Pro-Line platform that now offers single-game betting, as well as live betting.

Prince Edward Island

See New Brunswick.

Quebec

Loto-Quebec, regulator of all gaming activities in the province, dove head-first into the expansion of sports betting laws with the launch of in-store, online and mobile “mise-o-jeu”. You can participate in classic parlays, singles and live wagering, with a convenient mise-o-jeu mobile app for betting on the go. If you prefer to place your bets in person, you can fill out a slip on your mobile device, generating a barcode that you can scan in-store.

Saskatchewan

None. Saskatchewan has yet to prescribe to the online gambling industry. All gaming activities, including sports betting, must be conducted in person at a casino or authorized ticket retail location.

Yukon

See Northwest Territories.

Betting on Sports Outside Canada’s Regulatory Border

While other sportsbooks like theScore Bet and PointsBet are working diligently to get licensed and operational here in Canada, none have done so yet. If your home province or territory does not offer the type of online sports betting you’re looking for, you still have options.

Online gambling with offshore, internationally regulated websites is not illegal. They just aren’t regulated by any Canadian authority. So long as you’re access highly reputable, responsibly regulated sportsbooks, you have nothing to worry about.

The key to enjoying a safe and secure experience in single and live sports betting with overseas websites is to do your homework. First and foremost, identify the regulatory authority. The most reputable are the European jurisdictions of Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Malta and the UK. Anything licensed in Central America (Costa Rica, Curacao, Panama, etc.) may be circumspect.

Reputation also goes a very long way. Look for a website that has been up and running for at least a few years. Check out watchdog websites like Casinomeister to confirm there are no ongoing reports of customer abuse or payment issues. All it takes is a few minutes of your time to ensure you’re signing up and depositing with a reliable sportsbook.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 11

How Canada banks can promote safe online gambling tools.

New Horizons 2021: Banks Promote Safe Online Gambling Tools

The British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC) is one of the world’s most respected gaming regulators where problem gambling prevention is concerned. The regulator is the proprietor of the award-winning GameSense program, “supporting healthy play” among the provinces recreational gamblers for nearly ten years now. GameSense has been so highly commended over the years, it was integrated into Manitoba Gaming Control Commission’s extension of the BCLC PlayNow.com website in 2013, was adopted by both the Alberta Gaming & Lottery Commission and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in 2015, and became the model for a multitude of other US state lottery organizers thereafter.

BCLC has hosted the New Horizons in Responsible Gambling conference each year since 2013. One of the main topics is social responsibility, and the mission to ensure GameSense remains ahead of the game in Canada’s battle to extinguish gambling addiction. On the agenda for New Horizons 2021 is an exploration of ways banks can assist in that goal.

Canada Banks to Promote Safe Online Gambling Tools

One of the primary features of GameSense is its use as a voluntary self-exclusion tool. Gamblers who are aware of compulsory behavior are able to sign up for self-exclusion through the GameSense website, thereby giving land-based and online gambling operations permission to prohibit them from accessing games or placing wagers.

During a New Horizons pre-conference discussion last week, attendants heard how banks could be offering a similar service to their members.

Canadian Banks Could Promote Gaming Self-Exclusion

Natalie Ledward is the vulnerability manager at London-based Monzo Bank Ltd. She led a discussion at a BCLC-hosted webinar entitled, Banking on a Different Perspective: The Financial Industry’s Role in Safer Gambling; one of two pre-conferences leading up to New Horizons 2021.

Ms. Ledward told attendants of a collection of digital tools and support resources Monzo Bank provides its customers, each aimed at tackling the harmful impact gambling can have on individuals. The idea is to promote a safer gambling experience, in which the player has more awareness and control over their habits; all very similar to what GameSense provides to so many customers of Canada’s live and online casinos.

In 2018, Monzo Bank introduced a voluntary self-exclusion program for its members. Those who chose to use it would have their account blocked from making any gambling-related purchases. Banks already have the technology to do this, using specific merchant codes provided by major credit card companies to categorize different types of purchases.

“Banks play a huge role in identifying people’s spending habits,” said Ms. Ledward. “They have the opportunity to be the first to find out about their customers’ gambling behaviours and can begin to offer those customers help.”

Will Banks Succeed Where Casinos Have Failed?

It’s no secret that problem gamblers have continued to gain access to gambling products, even after signing up for voluntary self-exclusion; especially where land-based casinos are concerned. Even in British Columbia – the birthplace of GameSense – casinos are notorious for “accidentally” letting an excluded gambler onto the casino floor. The problem is obvious. Casinos make too much money off problem gamblers.

Banks have no vested interested in an account holder’s continued wagering. Quite the opposite, in fact. They would much prefer their members stick to healthy investments. Providing safe online gambling tools is just another way they can help their members make smarter decisions.

“Banks show a great degree of pro-activity already,” said Simon McNair, a session panelist and policy advisor for London’s Behavioural Insight Team. “Controlling gambling behaviour, especially more problematic behaviour, is absolutely in-part a money-management issue. Helping customers to that end will have numerous benefits – from helping people to keep their accounts in good standing, preventing people falling into debt, or to helping them to pay down debt.”

A second pre-conference leading up to the 2021 New Horizons is scheduled for January 27.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 07

Top live dealers casino websites for Canadians in 2020.

Passion for Payouts: Top Live Dealers Casino Sites for Canadians 2020

We’re kicking off the New Year with a fresh list of top-tier live casino operations welcoming Canadian players. Live dealer games are preferred for their realistic experience, closely mimicking that of a land-based casino – as close as you can possibly get on a computer or mobile device. There are real live dealers, operating real table games, with multiple real players joining in the action.

Here in Canada, we are limited in the number of online casinos we can play at. Some provinces are privy to locally-regulated gambling websites, but only two of them have live casino games. There are many more highly reputable and strictly regulated international offerings, but only so many have a good live dealer presentation.

Top Live Dealers Casino Sites for Canadians

Normally, a “top” list of anything has 3, 5, 10, or maybe 20 of the best whatever you’re listing. I’m going out of the box with this list and giving you the “Top 4”. Yes, four of Canada’s best live casinos in 2020. Why four? Because I couldn’t possibly cut this list down to three, and there really isn’t a fifth worthy of inclusion.

I’m also not giving the operators a number ranking. I don’t feel that any one is better than another. They all have differentiating qualities that earned them a spot on this list. For instance, the first two, PlayNow and PlayOLG, are both home-grown operations. Then again, they’re ring-fenced to their local provinces, limiting who can access them. The second two, LeoVegas and Royal Vegas, are open to all Canadians, but present very different live gaming options. With that being said, let’s get right to it…

PlayNow Live Casino – BC and Manitoba Only

PlayNow is a great iGaming operation built, maintained and regulated by the provincial government of British Columbia. Through a player sharing contract with the BCLC, Manitoba residents are also able to partake in PlayNow’s internet gambling activities. For residents of these jurisdictions, the degree of security and player protections can’t be beat.

The PlayNow Live Casino is powered by the industry’s #1 Live Casino brand, Evolution Gaming, and includes live blackjack, infinite blackjack, baccarat, eSqueeze baccarat, roulette, auto roulette and ultimate Texas holdem. That’s not a bad assortment, but it doesn’t include any of Evolution’s immensely popular game show-style productions.

EspaceJeux Live Casino – Quebec Only

Similarly, Espacejeux is the online gambling operation of Loto-Quebec – home grown and locally regulated by that provincial government. As such, security and safety are unquestionable, but only residents of Quebec can sign up an account and place wagers. That’s good for Quebecois, as is the implementation of Evolution Gaming’s world class live dealer software. On the negative side, the only live games are standard blackjack and roulette, baccarat, and Control Squeeze baccarat.

LeoVegas Live Casino – All Canadians Accepted

LeoVegas is an internationally operated casino brand, regulated in multiple jurisdictions. LeoVegas is licensed in its home country of Sweden, and also holds gaming licenses from Denmark and Malta. It is powered by more software brands than I’d care to count; somewhere in the neighborhood of 50. Several of those software studios offer live casino games. As such, this website presents, by far, the largest live gaming menu of any competitor.

There are – and bear in mind, some of these numbers will appear as duplicates due to multi-categorization – 48 live roulette games, 31 live blackjack games, 18 types of “card games”, 16 private Chambre Séparée (high roller) tables, 16 “VIP” tables, 11 live baccarat tables, 7 live “game show” style options, and 5 live poker variants; 23 of which are ‘Fast Play’ titles.

Royal Vegas Live Casino – All Canadians Accepted

There are some who would argue that “less is more”. By this, I mean having so many options – as many as LeoVegas presents – can make it harder to actually pick one. It’s not just a theory, but a scientific fact. Studies have shown that being offered chocolate, vanilla or strawberry ice cream makes it easy to pick one, whereas 30+ flavors can actually cause stress, anxiety, and an accelerated heart rate. Why such difficulty? People tend to fear that they won’t (or didn’t) choose the best option, and it leaves a bad taste in their mouth – pardon the pun.

If you prescribe to this ideal, then I present to you Royal Vegas Canada. Licensed in Malta, this operator only employs one live casino supplier, but it’s the world’s best – also proven by statistical data – Evolution Gaming.

Evolution has won the eGR Live Casino Supplier of the Year Award for the last 10 years straight. It’s almost as if they’ve figured out the perfect formula for live dealers casino games, and they’ve kept it as confidential as Mr. Krab’s secret formula for the “Krabby Patty”.

Royal Vegas accepts players from all over Canada. It’s also one of the few international sites that is approved to process payments via Interact eTransfer. Live casino games include blackjack, roulette, double ball roulette, baccarat, casino holdem, 3 card poker, Caribbean stud poker, private tables, game show tables, and their signature “Party” tables.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sep 18

The palpable link between Canada casinos online and on land.

Does any Palpable Link Exist Between Canada Casinos Online and On Land?

In Canada, there are essentially three types of casinos for adult-aged residents to enjoy. First and most obvious are the land-based casinos that dot the map from Vancouver, BC to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Next up are provincially run and regulated online casinos, like Ontario’s PlayOLG, and Quebec’s Espacejeux. Last are internationally regulated online casinos – operations that have no connection to Canada aside from accepting players from this region of the world.

There are clear and perceptible differences between the online and on-land versions. At terrestrial gaming establishments, players must travel to get there, and play physical gaming machines or table games when they do. Internet-based casinos can be played anytime, from anywhere, via desktop or mobile.

While most casino enthusiasts understand these obvious differences, there are other, less perceptible links between them that are harder to distinguish. The most common question I hear is this…

Is there any relationship between Canada casinos online and on land?

There’s a common misconception that live and online gambling operations are two sides of the same coin. This type of direct-link relationship does exist between certain operations in some parts of the world, where an online casino website is an internet-based reflection of the land-based operator that runs it. But not in Canada.

In certain US states like New Jersey, an online casino cannot exist without the direct backing of a land-based operator. Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget casino resort, for instance, is the proud parent of New Jersey’s online casino of the same name (GoldenNugget.com). At the same time, New Jersey residents are not permitted to gamble online at any site that is not licensed and regulated – and directly linked to a land-based casino – within the state.

This is not necessarily the case in Canada, though. Each province has the right to authorize land-based and/or online casino gambling, and thus far, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec have chosen to compliment their land-based gambling establishments with an internet gambling market. However, it’s not the land-based casinos that operate them. It is the local gaming regulator within each province that’s responsible for it.

In this way, provincially run iGaming sites are linked to land-based casinos, but only by the thin thread of equality in regulatory oversight.

There is no link whatsoever to overseas online casinos.

As for offshore gambling websites, they have no connection to any land-based casino or jurisdiction within Canada. They are not regulated by any Canadian authority, but at the same time, are not expressly legal or illegal. It’s kind of a ‘play at your own risk‘ type of situation. Many Canadians do take that risk – particularly those who are educated in the ways of offshore iGaming.

Our government loves to condemn the lack of regulation at international gaming sites, but that’s not exactly true. They are not regulated in Canada, but most of them are regulated elsewhere – some in far more respected iGaming jurisdictions than Canada has to offer.

The UK, for example, is the world’s strictest regulator of online gambling. Player protection is of utmost importance, and compliance with the law is mandatory. The UK Gambling Commission accepts no excuses for violating the law, dropping an expensive hammer on any operator that fails to comply. Suffice it to say, if an online casino holds a current UK license and accepts Canadians, it’s already undergone extensive audits and fairness certification.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Aug 20

Future looking bright for Canada’s largest casino firm.

Future Looks Bright for Canada's Largest Casino Firm, Great Canadian Gaming

The executive board members of Great Canadian Gaming (GCG) are putting on their shades after last week’s gleaming revenue report highlighted excellent second quarter results with a brilliant outlook for the next half of 2019. Revenues and shares were up, divestments and projects were completed, and new partnerships were forged.

GCG Chief Executive Officer Rod Baker is particularly pleased with the company’s performance over the last three months ending June 30, 2019, and is looking forward to a very bright future – especially in Ontario, where a powerful focus is resulting in the most growth. He believes its the company’s “disciplined approach” to fortifying GCG’s infrastructure with strategic expenditures that’s driving the firm ahead at such a phenomenal pace.

Revenues Soar for Canada’s Largest Casino Firm

In the financial highlights segment of last Tuesday’s GCG second quarter (Q2) 2019 earnings conference call, Baker noted a 20% increase in revenue, rising from $295.2 million in Q2-18 to $354.4 million in Q2-19. He attributed the boost in revenue to a variety of rationale:

  • One extra month of operations at properties in the company’s West GTA Gaming Bundle, compare to the same time period last year.
  • Additional revenue from newly introduced table games at Woodbine Casino.
  • Additional revenue from expanded gaming opportunities at Elements Casino Mohawk.
  • Heightened revenue from East Gaming Bundle following grand openings of Shorelines Casino Peterborough (Oct. 15, 2018) and Shorelines Slots at Kwartha Downs (Dec. 19, 2018).

GCG’s expenditure budget for the Ontario Gaming Bundle was nearly doubled year over year from $12.7 million to $23.6 million in Q2-19.

Revenue also rose in the British Columbia market, but the increase was attributed primarily to a single occurrence – a labour disruption at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver “that resulted in limited gaming and hospitality offerings for a portion of 2018.”

Shareholders earnings were a topic of much rejoicing during the conference call. GCG’s investors experienced net earnings of $48 million ($0.81 per common share) during the second quarter, an increase of $7.4 million ($0.15 per common share) YoY.

H2-19 Strategy: Spend Money to Make Money

“2019 is a year of significant capital expenditures as we build our infrastructure in Ontario to execute our strategic plan,” explained CEO Baker. “We have already accomplished several major milestones in the first half of the year including the new building addition at Great Blue Heron Casino and the gaming expansion at Elements Casino Mohawk. For the remainder of 2019, we continue to work towards completing several developments in Ontario, particularly at Elements Casino Flamboro and Elements Casino Grand River, which will include expanded gaming and new food and beverage offerings that we expect to complete by the end of 2019.”

Baker also spoke of the two-phase opening of Pickering Casino Resort, the first of which is scheduled to occur in Q1-20. The first phase will include gaming and dining venues. The timeline for the second phase has yet to be determined, but it will include “premium nongaming amenities”, like a hotel, retail stores, entertainment venue and additional dining options.

In closing, Baker credited the company’s recent and ongoing success to its “disciplined approach to use of capital opportunities and to explore opportunities that will improve our business and increase value to our shareholders.”

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , ,

Jul 26

Prince George couple wins largest Powerbucks progressive jackpot.

Powerbucks Progressive Slot Pays Record $2.1M Jackpot

The Powerbucks™ slot machine network packs one heck of a punch! Carrying a progressive jackpot that’s linked across gaming machines in four provinces of Canada, the prize pool grows at an impressive rate. And then, one day, without warning, some lucky player spins the reels, aligning the symbols just right to unleash all that pent up wealth.

That’s exactly the situation one very lucky slots player from British Columbia found themselves in earlier this month. Two Saturdays ago, she and her husband spent the evening at their local casino playing one of the regions most popular slot machine series, the Powerbucks™ progressive. She wasn’t just one more lucky player who hit a life-altering jackpot. This player won the…

Largest Powerbucks Progressive Jackpot Ever!

Who is this fortunate slots-spinning casino enthusiast? Her name is Marlyne Dumoulin, and she won’t be soon forgotten in her home town of Prince George. That name is going to be engraved in the BC Lottery Corp’s record books for some time after she won a record-breaking $2,152,860.

Prince George Slots Player Wins Largest Powerbucks Progressive Jackpot

“I was just in shock,” said Mrs. Dumoulin, who was playing the Powerbucks slot machine at Treasure Cove Casino on Saturday, July 13,after an afternoon golfing with her husband, Andy, when the unimaginable occurred. It was so unimaginable, in fact, that in Marlyne’s mind, there were a few less digits on display when the prize flashed across the screen.

“I thought I had won $2,100,” explained the fortunate winner, “but my husband who was sitting beside me said he thought it was a lot more than that.”

She went on to describe the night as being “so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days. I actually have bandages on my fingers from chewing my fingernails.”

More than a week after the big strike, Marlyne and Andy sat down with Treasure Cove’s Amanda Chandler for a quick chat about that memorable Saturday night.

Marlyne and Andy Dumoulin of Prince George win Largest Powerbucks Progressive Slot Jackpot

Marlyne told Amanada, thinking back on that fateful evening, “My heart was racing, we were sweating, we both cried. It was unreal.” Still in shock, they decided to spend the night in the hotel next door, giving them time to calm down and figure out what to do next.

By the next day, they had a plan. The happy and soon-to-be very wealthy couple drove to Kamloops where they purchased a motor home, then waited for the imminent phone call from the BC Lottery Corp. When the phone rang, they were told to head to the BCLC Prize Claim Centre the next morning, where they picked up their cheque for more than $2.1 million and celebrated the record-setting payout.

“Everyone treated us so well,” recalled Marlyne. “From the staff here at the Treasure Cove to lotteries in Kamloops.” Now days, she and Andy are retired and taking it easy; enjoying their new-found financial freedom as Canada’s latest millionaires.

As for Amanda, she was pleased beyond measure to have been a part of their experience. “They truly are the nicest, very deserving people and we couldn’t be happier to celebrate this history making win with them,” she said.

Powerbucks Jackpots Available in Four Provinces

Powerbucks progressive jackpot slot machines, developed by IGT, are available in four Canadian provinces, including British Columbia, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. Each of those areas hosts the games in their local casinos, as well as the provincially run online casinos of BC and Manitoba.

The Powerbucks jackpot reseeds at $1,000,000 each time it’s struck, and continues to grow with each spin of the reels until it is won. Our deepest congratulations go out to the Dumoulins on their fantastic fortune!

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Apr 30

AML laws to blame for Parq Vancouver Casino losing money?

Parq Vancouver Casino Losing Money, Some say AML Laws to Blame

Since 2018, money laundering has been the most abundant topic surrounding British Columbia’s once-flourishing gaming industry. Hundreds of millions – perhaps even billions – of dollars have been identified moving through BC casinos over the last decade. Provincial leaders are cracking down on the situation, and while putting a strangle-hold on the activities of organized crime syndicates is a huge positive, the impact it’s having on the Vancouver gambling scene is not.

According to recent reports, the Parq Vancouver, the areas largest casino opened in 2017, is not fairing so well. In its first year, the integrated gambling and entertainment venue made nearly $20 million. Following the implementation of new anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, this latest year’s profits are non-existent. The property recorded a staggering loss of more than $150 million.

Is Parq Vancouver Casino Still Viable?

The Parq Vancouver is an imposing structure located in the heart of British Columbia’s most populous city. Its copper-tinted window-wall exterior and unique shape are unmistakable, and are home to a two-story casino, a pair of luxury hotel towers (JW Marriott and The Douglas) on each end, eight diverse restaurants and lounges, and a plethora of other amenities. It is, as its owners describe it, an “international entertainment destination” that proffers “everything in one place.”

At the time the casino was being built – a process that took nearly 3 full years to complete – such a facility was in high demand. It was no secret that some of Asia’s most affluent tourists are drawn to BC, Canada, and that they are keen high rollers on the gaming floor. No doubt, the Parq Vancouver was hoping to capitalize on that foreign cash crop.

What the property’s owners did not know was that Asian VIPs were about to become a thing of the past in Vancouver as exhumed records would soon reveal a deep dark pattern of money laundering, resulting in a strain of new AML policies designed to thwart cash-cleaning by organized crime units.

AML Regulations to Blame for Revenue Loss?

In its first fiscal year, despite hefty loans and mounting debt, the casino drug in a profit of about $18 million. However, when the Office of Attorney General David Eby uncovered a history of money laundering – one that was highlighted by suitcases and duffle bags stuffed with mostly $20 bills amounting to $13.5 million being deposited at the River Rock Casino in nearby Richmond, BC in a single month’s time – began re-scripting the province’s AML laws, BC casinos didn’t look quite so appealing to all those high rollers anymore.

Dundee Corp, minority owner of Parq Vancouver, filed its annual earnings report on March 28, 2019, and the results weren’t nearly so vibrant. On the year ending December 2018, Parq Vancouver lost nearly $153 million. According to research analyst Andrew Hood of M Capital Partners, $112 million of that was spent covering loans. Owners declined to comment beyond the revelations of the report, but Hood took no issue addressing the pink elephant in the room.

“The anti-money laundering regulations in British Columbia have been a problem,” explains Hood. “The regulations were supposed to cut down on illicit gambling but, of course, that hurt volumes across casinos.”

Furthermore, data from Bloomberg reveals Parq has a pair of loans out. The first is a US$220 first-lien term-loan, and the second is a $150 million second-lien term-loan. Being owned by two privately held companies, Dundee Corp and its majority owner, PBC Group, specific details like interest rates do not have to be disclosed. But it’s clear that the Parq Vancouver Casino is drowning in debt.

Global market ratings experts at S&P say there’s every chance Parq will default on its loans. “We still believe that, absent a debt recapitalization, the company will be unable to materially address its high fixed charges and financial sustainability,” notes S&P.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Mar 27

BCLC approved high limit baccarat tables at River Rock Casino amidst revelations of money-laundering.

BCLC approved High Limit Baccarat Tables amidst Money-Laundering Scandal

It’s been an entire year now that British Columbia has been reeling over the revelation of mass money laundering through BC casinos. The fact that the scandal remains a highlight of regular news symbolizes just how severe the problem was, and every week it seems more evidence comes to light.

The situation revolves largely around Mainland Chinese VIPs laundering money through the province’s casinos – namely the River Rock Casino in Richmond. It’s been going on for at least a decade now, with hundreds of millions – possibly even billions – in dirty cash cycling through the casino’s cashier cages.

And now, to make matters even more brow-raising, it’s been discovered that the British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC) – the Crown Corporation that’s responsible for regulating the gambling industry in BC, and not-so-coincidentally accused of intentionally allowing it to happen – continually approved a vast increase in high stakes baccarat tables at both River Rock Casino and the Edgewater Casino in Vancouver.

BCLC Approved High Limit Baccarat Tables for Chinese New Year

You read that headline right… Let’s briefly revisit a few of those details. Millions of dollars were laundered through BC casino over 9+ years by Chinese high-rollers in association with organized crime. BCLC is under intense investigation and scrutiny for intentionally turning the other cheek. BCLC repeatedly increased limits for high stakes baccarat players during Chinese New Year – a time when VIPs are known to travel from China to casinos all over the world to celebrate their heritage by placing extravagant wagers on their culture’s historically favorite game of baccarat.

It wasn’t a nominal increase in stakes, either. BC casinos are normally allowed to accept stakes of up to $5,000 per play; no higher. Mot of them cap the limits at $100. But in anticipation of this special tourism-driven holiday, the province’s finance ministry decided it was appropriate to intervene, giving their two largest casinos, River Rock and Edgwater, permission to boost the stakes limit to as high as $100,000 per bet.

The next obvious question; how do the ministry and lottery regulators defend their actions? The same way they always do, by declaring their commitment to generate revenue for the province and host communities.

And the Plot Thickens…

Sam Cooper of Global News writes:

In May 2015, then-finance minister Mike de Jong said in B.C.’s legislature that the controversial “senior-level intervention” was made “in the public interest” in order to maximize casino revenue.”

Documents show that, since 2010, the Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch (GPEB) warned the BCLC not to accept large cash transactions from Chinese VIPs; that suspicion of money-laundering was a serious issue. Not only did those warnings go ignored, the GPEB’s Executive Director and Senior Director of Investigations – the two who sounded the alarms the loudest in those days – were dismissed with no explanation.

As the years went by, BC’s gaming revenue continued to increase to all new heights – particularly around Chinese New Year when the high limit baccarat tables received their annual 6-figure increase.

Light finally began shining on the situation in late 2014, when GPEB officials again complained to BCLC about large, suspicious cash transactions; literally bags of cash, almost all $20 bills, being accepted by River Rock cashiers on a nightly basis.

Documents show that BCLC responded by stating their belief that the transactions were tied to high stakes baccarat players and an organized crime suspect from Richmond. This lead to an investigative probe in 2015 – one that was ongoing while BCLC CEO Jim Lightbody announced projections of more than $1.2 billion in annual gaming revenue, “due to an increase in high-limit table revenue.”

Fast-forward a few more years to April 2018, when the newly appointed Attorney General David Eby received Peter German’s now-famous report, revealing the extent of money laundering that had been going on for so many years. And now here we are, one year later, still learning new and shocking details of just how deep the rabbit hole goes. It’s no wonder the people of British Columbia have lost faith in the leadership system that was meant to protect them, demanding a public inquiry into provincial corruption surrounding the money laundering scandal.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Mar 25

Trio of dealers charged with cheating at table games at Parq Vancouver Casino.

3 Dealers Charged with Cheating at Table Games at Parq Vancouver Casino

Cheating at the casino – it’s something that’s been going on since the dawn of gambling-kind. Prior to strict regulation, reporting and monitoring, some casinos were notoriously suspected of rigging certain games. Duplicitous players have been known to try everything from the infamous card-up-the-sleeve trick, to using sophisticated computer programs that coax slot machines into paying out a jackpot.

Such things don’t happen nearly so often these days, mostly because authoritative bodies and security technologies are much smarter than the criminals who might try to defraud one system or another. And yet, despite the great risk of being caught, casino fraud does still happen, as we learned when it was revealed why three former table games dealers at British Columbia’s Parq Vancouver Casino were fired from their positions last year.

BC Dealers Charged with Cheating at Table Games

There isn’t a great deal of information available on the cheating scandal that took place at the Vancouver gambling resort. In fact, no details at all were available until CTV News utilized the British Columbia Freedom of Information Act to obtain documents regarding the dismissal of those three employees. And even that information was vague.

CTV News learned – and MSN reported – that the three former live table dealers were “charged by police” with “collusion”; the act of two or more people working together to gain an unfair advantage. The report indicates that the former employees provided players with casino chips valued at $37,000, $40,000, and $43,000, even though those players were “not entitled” to receive those chips. The documents described the charges as “cheating at play”, but went into no further details.

Parq Casino isn’t talking, except to deliver the generic statement that they won’t comment on employee matters. They offered only an affirmation that the company “takes compliance seriously”. Ed Rampone, former Director of Casino Operations for the BC Gaming Policy & Enforcement Branch (GPEB), was more willing to speculate.

Rampone once specialized in criminal casino investigations, and in his educated opinion, it’s certainly possible that a dealer could slowly worked more chips to a player than they deserve. A blackjack dealer, for instance, could “add and include extra chips as he’s sliding them across the table.”

With the first half of the scam complete, the player could easily pay off the dealer for his or her troubles at an off-site location. Rampone describes a hypothetical scenario in which, “For every hundred or thousand dollars that I slip to you, you pay me back half or a third, depending on what the risk is.”

Other Cases of BC Player/Dealer Casino Collusion and Notable Employee Dismissals

Casino collusion was noted in two other incidents at BC casinos in 2017. One occurred in Langley’s Cascades Casino in a case wherein a “patron gained $7,000 in unentitled chips.” The other took place at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver when “an employee colluded with [a] patron” in an “estimated theft in excess of $5,000.”

The employees involved in both of those incidents were also fired. But not all of the casino firings were for suspicion of cheating at table games. At Chances Casino Kelowna, an employee was discharged for stealing cigarettes and a lighter from a co-worker. In another incident, an employee was not exactly fired, but “de-registered”, after stealing two chocolate candy bars from the concession stand at Lake City Casino in Penticton.

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Mar 19

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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