AGCO fines Fallsview Casino $70K for AML failings

Fine connected to April incident in the high roller area

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has issued a penalty of $70,000 to MGE Niagara Entertainment Inc., operator of Fallsview Casino Resort. The fine was issued for failing to comply with regulations designed to minimize unlawful activities, including money laundering.

The incident that led to the penalty occurred in April 2023, when a patron, previously identified as
“high risk” entered the Salon Privé at Fallsview Casino Resort with $80,000 in strapped $100 bills. The money was carried in a reusable grocery bag. Surveillance footage revealed that after the money was counted and confirmed, the patron left the table with casino chips without engaging in gaming.

Despite the obvious red flags raised by the transaction, the casino failed to notify the AGCO or on-
site police, as required by the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming. Furthermore, the casino failed to
take the necessary steps to ascertain and corroborate the source of the patron’s funds, which is
required under anti-money laundering rules.

In a press release announcing the penalty, the AGCO stressed the importance of preventing unlawful
activities at Ontario’s gaming sites. It was noted in the release that “The Registrar’s Standards for
Gaming require operators to report suspicious behaviours and to validate a patron’s source of funds
when presented with significant amounts of bulk cash.”

“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. 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,” said AGCO CEO and Registrar Dr. Karin Schnarr.

MGE Niagara has the right to appeal the Registrar’s decision to the Licence Appeal Tribunal, an
independent adjudicative body within Tribunals Ontario.

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