B.C. attorney general doesn't name Drake, but says casino rules apply to all
In this June 27, 2015 file photo, Canadian singer Drake performs on the main stage at Wireless festival in Finsbury Park, London. (Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP, File)
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, November 5, 2018 8:23PM EST
VICTORIA - New rules to fight money laundering at provincial casinos will apply universally, British Columbia's attorney general says.
David Eby said Monday he can't comment on private issues that occur in casinos, but stresses there are no exceptions to rules requiring gamblers to disclose sources of cash deposits of more than $10,000.
Canadian superstar singer Drake posted on his Instagram over the weekend that he was prevented from gambling at the Parq Vancouver casino while he was in the city to perform two concerts.
Drake called it “the worst-run business I have ever witnessed ... profiling me and not allowing me to gamble when I had everything they originally asked me for.”
Parq Vancouver says in statements it stands against racism of any kind and always follows provincial rules.
Eby, who didn't name Drake during his comments, said new rules to verify sources of cash at casinos have sharply cut suspicious gambling transactions.
He said that while casino operators have expressed concerns about a financial impact on their operations, the change has resulted in a “remarkable and sharp decline in suspicious transactions, adding there's been a reduction of about 100 times from the peak of suspicious cash transactions.
“The second component is that what we're seeing is a shift to bank drafts and other forms of negotiable instrument coming into our casinos so our gaming policy enforcement branch, our regulator, is very alive to that issue and making sure that we're addressing any issues that may be related to bank drafts as well.”
In June, Eby released an independent report saying B.C.'s casinos unknowingly served as money-laundering outlets for organized crime.
He commissioned the report after reviewing a study that concluded the River Rock Casino in Richmond accepted $13.5 million in $20 bills over a one-month period in 2015.
Former RCMP deputy commissioner Peter German's report said the failure of the anti-money laundering system brought the gaming industry into disrepute.
The report, called “Dirty Money,” outlines how cash from illicit means moved from casinos and into the province's economy.