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AGCO orders Casino Woodbine to pay CA$80,000 over dealer cheat scheme

| By Robert Fletcher
The Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has handed Casino Woodbine a penalty of CA$80,000 (£47,293/€54,998/US$59,091) over a cheat-at-play and dealer collusion scheme.
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Allegations recently arose that an electronic craps dealer at the Toronto-based casino was colluding with a group of patrons. In April, the Ontario Provincial Police Investigation and Enforcement Bureau charged five individuals in relation to the Casino Woodbine case.

The AGCO’s Regulatory Compliance Branch subsequently conducted a compliance review to assess Casino Woodbine’s adherence with both the Gaming Control Act 1992 and Registrar’s Standards for Gaming. 

It was established that the casino failed to detect or take appropriate action on available information to prevent the scheme.

Ontario regulator flags failures at Casino Woodbine

Failures highlighted by AGCO included not effectively acting on internal financial reports and emails indicating substantial and atypical losses from the electronic craps game over a six-month period.

AGCO also noted table games supervisors were often absent from the craps table when suspicious gambling activities occurred. Video surveillance recordings also show the game failed to follow required rules and procedures and lacked effective supervision.

In addition, while Casino Woodbine issued the dealer with seven procedural violations for inappropriately pushing dice to patrons before closing bets, the dealer was allowed to continue dealing electronic craps during that time.

“Ontario’s gaming laws require casino operators to implement effective controls to limit the risk of criminal activity, including cheating and collusion between patrons and casino staff,” AGCO said.

“In addition to these penalties, AGCO will continue monitoring to ensure Casino Woodbine appropriately addresses their controls to better detect and prevent casino cheats and dealer collusion.”

Casino Woodbine fully cooperated with the AGCO’s regulatory review and has committed to addressing deficiencies. The casino has the option to appeal against the ruling.

AGCO welcomes Schnarr as new chief executive

The news comes as AGCO appointed Karin Schnarr as its new chief executive and registrar. Schnarr assumes her role on 18 September and replaces Tom Mungham, whose exit was confirmed earlier this year.

Mungham joined AGCO in 2006 as director of licensing in registration. He then went on to become chief operating officer before assuming CEO and registrar duties in 2020.

During his tenure as CEO, Mungham oversaw a number of major initiatives in the Canadian province. These included the development and regulatory oversight of Ontario’s new online gambling market, which opened in April last year.

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