Parq Vancouver Casino is the largest and newest casino in Vancouver, but it has been struggling throughout 2018 as a result of the province’s new protocols for anti-money laundering requirements.
As a result of these new regulations, the casino became embroiled in a controversy with superstar Drake. According to one of the significant investors in the Parq Vancouver Casino, Dundee Corporation, the casino is struggling with these new protocols.
The principal owner of the casino Parq Equity Limited Partnership says that in the first nine months in 2018 that they lost about $82m (£64m), with an operating loss of $13.3m (£10.4m).
Reasons for casino’s problems
The casino opened on September 29, 2017. It operates in 30,000 square feet on two floors, with more than 600 gaming machines and almost 80 gaming tables.
In the three months of operation in 2017, the casino showed a net profit of $21.2m (£16.6m). But this year it is struggling to keep up, and a major reason for is the anti-money laundering protocols. The provincial government introduced these measures at the beginning of 2018.
One of the new rules requires that any cash sums worth more than $10,000 (£7,819) brought into one of British Columbia’s casinos needs to be verified. So far, this policy has cut down on suspicious transactions, but the casinos are suffering as a result.
Talking about the results to date, the province’s attorney general says there is: “a reduction of about 100 times from what the peak levels of these suspicious transactions were.”
Non-cash forms of payment, such as bank drafts, are now a lot more popular at these casinos. This is a more traceable form of financing.
Why new protocols?
The reason for these new protocols was the history of shady anti-money laundering practices at British Columbia casinos. A report exposed this activity and allegedly shows that the former government was happy to continue bringing in tax revenues rather than cracking down on these shady practices.
The report, titled “Dirty Money,” shows how criminal enterprises in the region were laundering money. The findings came to light in October 2017. The province then had to appoint a third-party auditor to its three casinos, including the Parq Vancouver, to make sure that they were adhering to the compliance rules.
In October, the casino got a cash injection through an industry investor. This loan of $15m (£11.7m) will be used to pay other debts and to provide further working capital.
The casino got a similar cash injection in March worth $25m (£19.6m) from one of its partners. This money can help continue operations without having to make significant cutbacks.
Recent Drake controversy
Drake, one of the most popular music artists of his generation, recently made accusations against the Parq Vancouver Casino that made news headlines across the world.
He alleges that they were racially profiling him when he was trying to play at the venue. They would not let him gamble because he failed to meet all of the verification requirements of the new anti-money laundering protocols.
Drake publicly spoke to his millions of followers about this incident. He said that the casino is “the worst-run business” he has come across and he claimed that all of his verification checks were successful. However, they still would not let him play at their establishment.
The casino did issue two responses to the rapper’s claims. The first of these says: “Parq Vancouver is sorry to hear about this experience and takes these matters very seriously. We are required to adhere to strict regulations with respect to gaming in British Columbia. We are actively investigating this matter and have made several efforts to reach out to the customer and his team to discuss the issue.”
After Drake’s public outcry, his fans left many negative reviews of the casino on multiple sites. It certainly is not going to do the casino any favors as it continues to struggle financially.