According to a federal watchdog that monitors money laundering, British Columbia casinos processed $23.8 million in suspicious transactions. This is nearly 50% more than last year’s reported $15 million.
The Starlight Casino and the River Rock Casino both reported an increasing in large cash transactions that totaled millions of dollars. A set of suspicious transactions was made up of 90 processes totaling $8 million, each transaction taking place every day.
The transactions were not reported to the police immediately upon discovery, as it did not seem to be a legal matter at first. However, it is now believed that the money that was part of the illegal transactions may have been used in money laundering schemes by organized crime syndicates.
On several different occasions, customers were allowed to spend $500 000 or more in $20 bills at either of these two casinos. In any other circumstance, these transactions would have been reported as suspicious, but the casino staff allowed them to take place.
Currently, the casinos are undergoing investigations to examine the possibility of money laundering taking place on their premises. This won’t be the first time that B.C. gambling authorities are in trouble with the government or the law. Recently, the BCLC came under fire for its online gambling venture and its inability to help problem gamblers.