A cash babysitter has been appointed for Metro Vancouver casino workers

Tri-City News

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BC Lotteries Corporation has engaged a third-party auditor to monitor B.C.’s busiest casinos to make sure gaming workers are recording source of gaming funds declarations properly.

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The corporation determined that more monitoring was needed at River Rock Casino Resort, Grand Villa Casino, and Parq Vancouver to ensure that registered gaming workers are consistently and completely accurate in gathering detailed information on the source of player funds for all transactions of $10,000 or more.

“As an industry, we are actively engaged and committed to continually improving the anti-money laundering practices in B.C. casinos to stay current with an ever-changing challenge,” said Jim Lightbody, president and CEO in a press release. “For instance, it is essential that BCLC work together with our casino service providers to ensure that source of funds declarations completely and accurately record the necessary information as one means to help keep dirty money out of B.C. casinos.”

This additional monitoring will continue until BCLC is satisfied that its service providers are fully compliant, according to a press release.

Beginning Jan. 10, at the recommendation of Peter German, gaming workers had to collect a source of funds declaration for all cash and bank draft and certified cheque buy-ins for $10,000 or more in one or more transactions within a 24-hour period.

This information must be provided before the customer is allowed to buy in.

The declaration must include the financial institution, branch number and account number related to the buy in as well as the customer’s signature and in some circumstances, supporting documentation is also required.

If a customer doesn’t provide the required information, or refuses to sign the source of funds declaration, the service provider must refuse the transaction, document the refusal and notify BCLD and Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch Compliance Division (GPEB).

Prior to the new rules, the Hard Rock casino in Coquitlam casino accepted $2.5 million in cash transactions over $10,000 from gambling patrons between 2016 and 2017, according to suspicious gaming reports supplied to GPEB and reported in the Tri-City News.

On Jan. 7, 2016, for example, someone made a cash buy-in to play at a high-limit table with $70,020 in $20 bills and later topped that up with with a further $2,000 in $20 bills.

Other patrons brought in large cash stakes but their occupations didn’t match the size of their wallets while still others brought in stacks of $100 bills, as one gambler did with a $43,500 stake, betting every cent and losing it all, according to the document required as a way to keep track of cash flowing through B.C. casinos.

The largest buy-in, according to the reports, appears to be an $81,000 cash transaction in the high-limit room, with funds handed over in $100 bills.

But since the new rules have come into effect, the Coquitlam casino has been recording instances where customers refused to submit or sign documentation indicating where their cash came from.