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‘High risk’ player at Ontario casino bought $80K in chips with grocery bag full of cash: AGCO

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Ontario’s gambling watchdog has slapped a popular Niagara Falls casino with a fine after it allegedly allowed a “high-risk” player to exchange $80,000 in cash for chips and walk out without gambling.


In a news release, the Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced the $70,000 fine — $10,000 less than the value of money that was allegedly laundered — against MGE Niagara Entertainment Inc., which operates Fallsview Casino Resort.


The AGCO alleges that in April 2023, a patron went to Salon Privé, a “high-limit” gaming area within the casino that offers players “sophistication and discretion,” according to the Fallsview website.


Once there, the patron presented a casino attendant with $80,000 in strapped $100 bills, which was held in a reusable grocery bag, the AGCO said.


“Surveillance showed that once the money was counted and confirmed, the patron left the table with casino chips without playing at that time,” the news release read.


The AGCO also said the patron was previously identified as “high risk” by the casino, but no steps were taken to notify officials or on-site police, as is the protocol.


Moreover, Fallsview failed to take any “meaningful steps” to confirm the patron’s source of funds, as required by the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming’s anti-money laundering rules.


In a statement to CTV News Toronto, a spokesperson for Fallsview Casino said it “respectfully” disagrees with the decision.


“Fallsview Casino Resort is a company devoted to compliance and good citizenship. We will be appealing the decision and look forward to presenting our case,” a spokesperson said in an email.

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