The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has issued a hefty CA$70,000 ($52,000) fine to MGE Niagara Entertainment Inc., the operator of Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls. This penalty comes as the AGCO intensifies its enforcement efforts in response to recent incidents. Fallsview Casino has announced its intention to appeal the fine, prompting a further examination of the case.
The latest enforcement action stems from an incident in April 2023, where a patron visited the Salon Privé, a high-limit gaming area, and handed over CA$80,000 in strapped CA$100 bills in a reusable grocery bag. Surveillance footage revealed that the patron left the table with casino chips without engaging in any gambling activity. The AGCO noted that the patron had been flagged as “high risk” by the casino, but no measures were taken to alert officials or on-site police.
Furthermore, the AGCO emphasized that Fallsview Casino failed to take substantive steps to verify the source of the patron’s funds, a violation of anti-money laundering rules. This lack of action warranted the significant CA$70,000 fine.
In response, a spokesperson for Fallsview Casino expressed disagreement with the decision and emphasized the venue’s commitment to compliance and ethical conduct. The casino has the option to appeal the decision and present its case before the Licence Appeal Tribunal.
This enforcement action reflects the AGCO’s continued diligence in ensuring a safe and sustainable gambling sector in Ontario. The regulatory authority has been proactive in holding operators accountable for responsible gaming breaches. The CA$70,000 fine underscores the AGCO’s unwavering stance on adherence to anti-money laundering regulations within gambling establishments. Fallsview Casino’s appeal may provide further insights into the case and shed light on its AML responsibilities.