Vancouver Raid on Suspect Illegal Gambling House Turns Up Two Local Casino Workers

Posted on: October 3, 2018, 01:30h. 

Last updated on: October 3, 2018, 11:53h.

Two British Columbia (BC) gaming workers were arrested after the province’s anti-gang unit raided a suspected illegal gaming house in the Vancouver area.

Vancouver raid
Tens of thousands worth of chips were discovered at an illegal gaming house in Vancouver. (Image credit: The Straits Times)

They were among nine people detained in the raid, which took place in the spring. However, the details weren’t divulged to the public until a search warrant was recently secured by CBC News.

BC’s anti-gang unit informed the BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC), the provincial regulatory gaming body, that two women who used to be dealers at the River Rock Casino were discovered within the illegal operation.

However, both were still registered as gaming workers with the province, and their former employer says that means they shouldn’t have been there, regardless of their employment status.

“Great Canadian has zero tolerance for any of our staff having any relationship with an illegal facility,” Terrance Doyle, CEO of the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation told CBC News. “As do our regulators, and (we would) take immediate action against anyone found to be engaged in that type of activity, including termination,”

Despite nine arrests being made, police say there was “insufficient evidence” to lay any criminal charges.

Part of a Bigger Problem

The discovery of such an illegal gaming house will come as no surprise to authorities. It was an issue that was highlighted in a recent, sweeping investigation by a former police commissioner.

Peter German’s “Dirty Money” report revealed how international criminal gangs were using BC casinos to launder the proceeds of their criminal activity.

But German also brought attention to a police memo about the relationship between organized crime and local casinos and gambling houses.

“Illegal gambling dens are proving to be highly profitable,” read the memo, according to CBC News. “And their insulated nature allows them to be relatively low-risk criminal investments.”

German pointed out the challenges in taking down such illegal enterprises, given that they are “tightly knit organized crime cells and controlled by invitation only.”

He went on to suggest that enforcement tends to have a relatively small impact on these illegal operations.

Investigation Forthcoming?

Just because no charges were laid in the raid doesn’t mean the matter is dead.

Representatives for the province’s Attorney General said that the discovery of gaming workers at an illegal gaming house could force an investigation by the government’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch.

While no charges are expected, it could result in the two dealers losing their gaming licenses.

Meanwhile, the fallout from the dirty money scandal continues. Officials had previously indicated that they were considering launching another probe into what effect the money laundering activity may have had on the local housing market.

Last week, Attorney General David Eby made it official, announcing that German will undertake a secondary investigation looking into not only real estate, but horse racing and luxury cars in BC, too.

Finance Minister Carole James also unveiled a new initiative to fight the flow of illegal money into the province. James has appointed a special panel to examine the current laws, all in the hopes of getting “dirty money out of the housing market.”