Money can still be laundered by criminal groups at Quebec casinos and gaming halls, according to experts. A recent report has found that over the last few years, the provincial organisation has reported over CA$420 million in large cash transactions at its gaming properties to the country’s anti-money laundering body.
Money can still be laundered by criminal groups at Quebec casinos and gaming halls, according to experts. A recent report has found that over the last few years, the provincial organization has reported over CA$420 million in large cash transactions at its gaming properties to the country’s anti-money laundering body.
It is common for organized crime groups to use casino properties to move their dirty money. Canadian law requires casinos to report suspicious cash transactions and large cash transfers of more than CA $10,000 on their properties to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre. Potential money-laundering threats are the subject of the mandate of the FINTRAC.
The casinos could still be targeted
Over the course of the last two fiscal years, the province has reported an average of CA$ 77 million a year in large cash transactions. Approximately 5,000 transactions a year or 14 per day is what it is. Over the years, the number has remained fairly constant. The number went from 254 in 2015-2016 to 395 in 2019-2020.
Matt McGuire, an internationally recognized money-laundering expert, shared that he is not surprised that the Crown is reporting more suspicious transactions now. A few years ago, the Crown was issued an administrative penalty for failing to follow provincial protocols, and he thinks they could be more careful now. In February 2020, it received a fine for violating the rules in the past.
TVA, which is a French-language media outlet, investigated the activities of the Crown agency in November 2020. It was claimed that organized crime members enjoyed perks such as free hotel rooms, meals, and shows at the Crown’s Casino Montréal. An audit was launched to look into how casinos operate and monitor their loyalty programs.
The consulting firm was paid almost $300,000 to conduct the investigation. The results of the audit were published in the summer of 2021, but they did not find any discrepancies in the Crown’s operations. The policy to ban players with a high-risk profile was implemented by the Crown and they were able to cancel their memberships.
The 2020 penalty was disputed
This summer, Casino Montréal was once again linked to scandal. In May 2022, reports surfaced claiming that the legal casino was fined roughly CA$260,000 for apparently questionable money activities on its facilities. This was in connection with a fine imposed on the Crown corporation.
The gaming leader failed to report multiple money transactions of a greater extent made by one of the patrons from 2011. Over the next six years, the Crown corporation fought the fine and it turned out to be quite expensive. The sum of the original fine was exceeded by the accumulated amount.
Quebec casinos, gaming halls are still vulnerable to money-laundering by organized crime, according to experts.