Casino operator Great Canadian Gaming Corp has been accused of undisclosed investment in an old Asian casino cruise liner. This allegation could start a new investigation by British Columbia gaming regulators.
According to a newspaper report this week, the Great Canadian Gaming Corp has earlier had involvement in China Sea Discovery, a Hong Kong-based casino cruise that is believed to have been partly owned by the late head of the Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE), Cheng Yu Tung.
British Columbia casinos - including the Great Canadian-run River Rock Casino in Richmond - have been reeling under various cases of rampant money laundering by Asian crime groups. Now, these fresh allegations of undisclosed partnerships with dubious people could prompt a new investigation by the province’s Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch.
The office of BC Attorney General David Eby has stated that Cheng Yu Tung wasn’t registered to partner with Great Canadian Corps, even though the regulations require all licensed gaming operators in British Columbia to list all investors, including those based outside of BC.
Cheng has had notable acquaintances with Macau casino icon Stanley Ho, in that Cheng held a 10 percent stake in STDM, the parent company of Macau’s original casino operator SJM Holdings. His associations with STDM were quoted as objections in 2016 when CTFE tried acquiring ownership of the Baha Mar resort casino in the Bahamas. CTFE wasn't ultimately prevented from taking ownership.
Great Canadian Corp avoided going into much details in a statement, but focused more on the claim that the company was only a minority partner in China Sea Discovery for a short time. The company also said it would be not be right to trust what has been said by former Great Canadian Gaming Corp staff.
It has been reported that Great Canadian’s Asian cruise casino tryst ended in 2001, lasting only one year. The company's current head of international VIP gaming Walter Soo was the one in charge of the China Sea Discovery’s gaming operations. Former Great Canadian security supervisor Proka Avramovic has been quoted saying that the casino cruise experiment helped introduce British Columbia to China’s VIP gambling model.
Avramovic also spoke of an alleged incident where an alleged individual identified only as Mr. Y and his armed gang held the China Sea Discovery vessel hostage at its berth on the Chinese island of Hainan. Avramovic claimed that Y let go only after receiving a $900,000 check from Great Canadian Gaming Corp, which he claimed was a repayment of his investment.
Unsurprisingly, Avramovic also stated that when he came back from the his cruise, he alleged;y approached BC’s then-Liberal government to speak about his concerns regarding the illegal activities in BC’s gaming industry. But he alleged that he was asked to forget about it.
Apparently, this same Liberal government had buried a pejorative report on money laundering at BC casinos and also shut down a gaming investigative body when it kept up with asking pressing questions concerning financial management at BC casinos.