Rumours of ties to alleged Asian money launderer have raised some difficult questions about Great Canadian Gaming Corporation practices.
The last few days have not been the best for the gambling industry in Canada, and this is due in no small part to the recent revelations concerning Great Canadian Gaming and their alleged links to organised crime on the Orient! The news came as the partnership between Hong Kong business tycoon Cheng Yu Tung and Great Canadian was thrust under the microscope.
Indeed, this situation has been compounded by positive development south of the border, where it all seems to be going right for our American cousins. The States recently had a Supreme Court ruling that now allows them to enjoy sports betting whenever they wish. So the hope was that Canada would have something to celebrate too, but it seems that Tang and Great Canadian have dominated many headlines, especially in B.C..
Tung, who passed away in 2016, was apparently a huge backer of the floating casino China Sea Discovery, which was championed by Great Canadian Gaming. However, it has recently come to light that the ship might have been used by Tung, and his conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, to launder money. In fact, many stories have emerged of gangster interference and criminal going’s on aboard the floating casino, which ceased operation in 2001.
It was even alleged that all manner of crooks, money launderers, and triads would regularly be on the ship. And there was a story of an alleged kidnapping of Great Canadian employees by a mysterious triad figure known as Mr. Y, until he was repaid for an investment! Whether or not this is true is something of a moot point at this stage, but it does cast grave misgivings over the character of Tung, and the dealings of Great Canadian Gaming.
It is thought that Tung’s links to organised crime in Macau-based casinos have put authorities on alert. This is yet more bad news for BC casinos, following recent investigations into money laundering at River Rock Casino in Richmond, another GCG casino.
The failure of Great Canadian to register Tung as a partner in the enterprise, a legal requirement for all BC-licensed gaming operators, could land the company in hot water. It is essential that investors are able to be vetted for suitability, and this is one of the reasons Great Canadian could be facing a probe into its operations.
BC Attorney General David Eby confirmed that the allegations of unregistered individuals involved with the casino operations were serious and would need to be looked into further. He also seemed to blame an earlier regime in Canada for the problems, stating that the issue had first arisen in 2011, but the former government had not adequately addressed the serious crime that was threatening Canada’s westernmost province.
It seems likely that a probe will be launched in the coming weeks, and it could prove a very uncomfortable process for Great Canadian Gaming. It may well also set a precedent for the future, not to mention resulting in the clamp down on regulations, and the way casino enterprises are allowed to conduct business in the province. This is something that was already explored with the failed attempt at cracking down on Canada’s online gambling. However, this could well call into question the whole idea of foreign investors, and it may eventually prove detrimental in the long run.
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