People convicted of money laundering, forgery to be banned from Quebec casinos
The Canadian PressNews casino forgery gaming money laundering
By Jacob Serebrin in Montreal
The Quebec government says it will ban people convicted of a number of crimes, including money laundering and forgery, from stepping foot in casinos.
The province announced the new rule in a draft regulation published Wednesday in its official Gazette.
People no longer welcome in casinos include those who have been convicted of or have pleaded guilty to crimes within the past five years that could affect the integrity of casinos or undermine public trust in them. Those crimes include money laundering, forgery and charging interest at a criminal rate, as well as violations of the Controlled Drugs and Substances act.
All legal casinos in the province, except for those in Indigenous communities, are owned by Loto-Québec, the province’s gaming authority.
“Loto-Québec and the government are aiming for the highest standards of responsible gaming and financial integrity,” Claudia Loupret, a spokeswoman for Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard, said in a statement. “We have confidence in Loto-Québec to implement these new measures.”
The regulation follows a 2021 audit by Deloitte into the use of casinos by members of organized criminal groups. Girard ordered the audit after media reports said organized crime members had allegedly received VIP treatment at the Casino de Montréal. The audit looked at money laundering, loan-sharking, Loto-Québec’s loyalty program and existing measures to ensure the security and independence of casino employees.
One of Deloitte’s recommendations was that Loto-Québec be given the power to ban people linked to criminality. Girard’s office did not respond to a question about why it took more than two years to introduce the regulation.
“This additional measure supports the many other security measures already in place to combat money laundering at our establishments and ensure that our casinos are safe entertainment venues,” Loto-Québec said in an unsigned statement.
The regulation comes into effect in about six weeks.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2023.
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