Ontario Casino Fined For Anti-Money Laundering Violations

Ontario Casino Fined For Anti-Money Laundering Violations
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

A Niagara Falls casino operator is facing a $70,000 CDN fine for failing to adhere to the province’s statues regarding money laundering activities inside their casino, according to a release from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Fallsview Casino Resort is accused by the commission of allowing a high-risk casino player to cash in $80,000 in $100 bills from a grocery bag, while failing to alert the AGCO and police of the transaction, which occurred in April 2023 inside the casino’s Salone Privé, the release said.

The AGCO is responsible for regulating alcohol, gaming, horse racing and cannabis, including the Ontario online casino and sports betting industry in the province.

Additionally, the Niagara Falls casino operator did not verify the source of the customer’s money, which is mandated by the AGCO’s anti-laundering statutes. That led to the sizable fine from the province’s gaming regulatory body, according to a release on the AGCO website, issued Wednesday.

On its website, Fallsview Casino said it will appeal the AGCO decision.

AGCO Says Ontario Casino Violated Statutes

The AGCO release said that two statutes were violated by MGE Niagara Entertainment Inc., which is the parent company of the casino (brick-and-mortar casinos are available in the province along with real money casino app Ontario options). The first was standard 6.1.5, the requirement to: “Report suspicious behaviour, cheating at play and unlawful activities in accordance with the established notification matrix.”

The second statute, standard 6.3.2, concerns the ability to confirm where a customer’s cash comes from. The department release defines the statute: “Implement policies, procedures and controls that specify times and situations, based on the assessment of risk, where the Operator will ascertain and reasonably corroborate a patron’s source of funds.”

In the release, Dr. Karin Schnarr, the CEO and registrar of the AGCO, admonished the Niagara Falls casino operator for a failure to adhere the province’s standards regarding money laundering and for allowing such actions to take place.

“The AGCO is committed to protecting the public interest and public safety and remains vigilant in its efforts to guard against potential money laundering at Ontario’s gaming sites,” Schnarr said. “Casino operators are important front-line partners in this effort and the AGCO holds all operators to rigorous standards when it comes to the prevention of unlawful activity.”

On the Fallsview Casino website, there was a statement that said, in part, “We have reviewed the AGCO’s decision and respectfully disagree with it. 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.”

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Christopher Boan is a writer at OntarioBets.com. He's covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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