As various types of crime continue to plague casinos in Canada, members of the Quebec Loto-Québec Corporation are examining the latest trends in organized crime and have come up with an ingenious new idea. Loto-Québec’s CEO Mathieu Bouchard has called for a program in which undercover agents will be able to participate in casino games in order to gather information on the nastiest organized crime groups. The goal is to encourage other casinos to implement similar programs.
Loto-Québec is using crowd-sourcing to help solve a growing crime problem. The crown-owned casino operator is using the technology to enlist the help of the public to solve a crime wave that has seen a spike in violent robberies at its casinos across the province.
Loto-Quebec has finally found the answer to alleged criminal activity at local casinos in the province. Last week, the government released a report prepared by an external audit firm to provide the authorities with recommendations and strategies for dealing with possible future criminal activity in gambling facilities.
Last November, Finance Minister Eric Girard announced that an outside firm would conduct an independent audit to investigate past criminal activity at the Casino de Montréal. The audit was announced shortly after it was reported in various media that members of organized crime would receive special treatment at the casino.
A formal investigation by an independent firm officially concluded last week, and the Quebec provincial government has said it will act on some of the recommendations. Last week, the Finance Minister stated that the current actions of Loto-Quebec are credible and that the criminal activities reported by the media reflect past events and have nothing to do with current events.
The local government has said it will introduce a policy or procedure to bar high-risk gamblers. Because the state agency can cancel their membership in the casino’s loyalty program and revoke the points they have accumulated. In addition, the Crown corporation is granted greater powers to conduct more thorough and detailed background checks on certain patrons and their sources of funding.
The county also agreed to improve information sharing between the state agency and police. This includes the exchange of information on money laundering arrangements, typologies, methods, modus operandi and organised crime groups. The state has even implemented some of the audit’s recommendations, such as automating suspicious activity monitoring systems.
In conclusion, the Crown Office stated that it is always looking for the best possible protocols in the fight against money laundering as organised crime moves with the times and with new technologies. According to the report, the smugglers did not feel compelled to let the suspect win because of his ties to organized crime groups.
Decrease in income
Loto Québec has had a difficult year, as the public company was hit hard by an unprecedented situation. Casino operations in the county were suspended for an extended period of time, resulting in a significant drop in revenue. In the last fiscal year 2020-21, the company was able to generate C$457.6 million, which is only one-third of the previous year’s total revenue.
Long-awaited resumption of work
However, there is good news on the horizon for the Crown agency and gambling enthusiasts in Quebec. The county announced a week ago that stores would reopen, and casinos are included in the reopening plan. The Trois-Rivières gaming room is set to open on June 14, 2021, while the Charlevoix Casino, Mont-Tremblant Casino and Quebec City gaming room reopen on June 21. June, their operation will begin.
Source: Criminals should be banned from casino gambling, says Quebec, CTV News, June 18, 2021.