Woodbine Casino Faces $80,000 Fine for Cheating and Collusion; Suspect in Casino Fraud Case Pleads Guilty
Casino Woodbine has been slapped with an $80,000 fine by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) after being embroiled in a cheating and dealer collusion scandal at their Toronto property.
This hefty penalty comes in the wake of an extensive investigation conducted by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Investigation and Enforcement Bureau in April 2023, which included AGCO personnel embedded in the process. As a result of this investigation, five individuals were charged, with authorities alleging that a dealer at Woodbine Casino collaborated with four other players in a cheating scheme.
The AGCO, in announcing the fine, stated, "The AGCO's Regulatory Compliance Branch subsequently conducted a comprehensive compliance review to evaluate Casino Woodbine's adherence to the Gaming Control Act, 1992, and Registrar's Standards for Gaming. The Registrar determined that Casino Woodbine failed to identify or take appropriate action based on available information to prevent the cheating and dealer collusion."
During the investigation, AGCO unearthed internal financial reports and emails from Woodbine that pointed to significant and unusual losses in the electronic craps game over a six-month period. The commission found that these reports were not adequately addressed.
Furthermore, the report highlighted that table games supervisors were frequently absent from the craps table in question when cheating and collusion were suspected. Surveillance footage revealed that the craps game did not adhere to the required rules and procedures, according to AGCO, and lacked proper supervision.
The report also noted that although Casino Woodbine had issued seven procedural violations to the dealer for inappropriately handling dice to patrons before closing bets, the dealer was allowed to continue dealing electronic craps during that period.
Regulators mentioned that Casino Woodbine has cooperated fully with the review and has committed to improving its control measures. Ontario casino operators are mandated to implement effective controls to mitigate the risk of criminal activities such as cheating and collusion involving staff. AGCO will continue to monitor the property to ensure that management enhances controls for detecting and preventing cheating.
This incident follows another recent case of cheating and collusion in Ontario. In August, the OPP arrested four individuals, including a dealer allegedly involved in a similar scheme at Pickering Casino Resort. Police asserted that the dealer "colluded with patrons."
The investigation was also conducted in cooperation with AGCO, resulting in 24-year-old Sandeep Sogi of Toronto being charged with criminal breach of trust, four counts of cheat at play, and four counts of fraud exceeding $5,000. Three other alleged accomplices were also arrested and faced four counts each of cheat at play, fraud exceeding $5,000, and possession of property obtained by crime exceeding $5,000.
Second Fraudster Sentenced for Scamming Ontario and Quebec Casinos
In other Canadian gaming news, 45-year-old Yuan Wang recently received a suspended sentence and three years of probation in Quebec for fraud charges related to scams carried out at several casinos in 2018.
The OPP investigated a series of frauds and attempted frauds at gaming establishments in Ontario and Quebec involving Wang and at least one accomplice, with similar incidents reported in Alberta and British Columbia, totaling over $2 million in losses.
"The frauds would involve a casino patron (including at Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort) faxing or emailing a casino a copy of a bank draft from National Bank of Canada," as reported by the Niagara Falls Review. "The casino would verify the drafts by calling the number written on the note, at which time a person posing as a bank employee would claim the draft was authentic.
"The funds would be deposited, and the individual would then attend the casino and withdraw the funds in both cash and chips. The casino would later be notified the bank drafts were fraudulent. By then, the money was long gone."
Wang, hailing from Markham, Ontario, was apprehended in 2019 alongside Daud Srosh from Brampton, Ontario. Srosh, 51, had previously pleaded guilty to defrauding Fallsview Casino of $890,000 and received a suspended sentence and probation.
Defense attorneys for both individuals argued that Wang and Srosh were battling severe gambling addictions. Srosh was reported to have lost $4 million at Fallsview over the last few years, while Wang also lost approximately $3 million. Wang had even signed a self-exclusion agreement in Ontario but opted to travel to Quebec to gamble.
Prosecutors emphasized that the duo had inflicted substantial financial damage on the casinos, leading to staff reductions and tarnishing the establishments' reputation.
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