Great Canadian Gaming Corp (GCG) is charged in a new lawsuit of attempting to silence the ex VIP gaming manager at its River Rock Casino and Resort in Richmond, BC. The accusation comes during a public investigation into a money-laundering upsurge in the province.
Glacier Media reports Walter Soo served as executive vice president of player and gaming development up to August 2019, when he was sacked by GCG.
As per corporate documents and interviews with company insiders that Global News conducted last year, Soo started his career in 1983 as a dealer with GCG, and afterwards built River Rock’s hugely profitable VIP business.
According to an RCMP report, it was under Soo’s supervision that a culture of accepting big, unsourced cash transactions flourished at River Rock disregarding the casino’s anti-money laundering (AML) responsibilities.
It was found that In July 2015, the casino accepted CA$13.5 million (US$10.24 million) in $20 bills. Once, it accepted a single transaction of half a million dollars in low-denomination bills.
The RCMP report also described “nocturnal drop-offs” of huge amounts of money in the casino’s parking lot, which police said suggested to an underground banking network with connections to the drugs trade.
But according to Soo’s lawsuit, he’s being set up as the “fall person” for River Rock’s AML failings in order to protect those higher up in the food chain.
As reported by casino.org, Soo says he was offered a compensation package which included two years’ salary ($443,000), in addition to stock options; however only if he were to agree to “refrain from co-operating or participating in proceedings” concerning GCG.
Soo did not accept the deal because he believed it could stain his reputation and he could be blamed for the AML breaches, according to the lawsuit.
Soo claims it was his duty to introduce high-rolling clients to River Rock’s VIP tables, not to execute compliance policy.
The lawsuit names Rod Baker, GCG President and CEO and Terrance Doyle, President of Strategic Growth and Chief Compliance Officer as being mainly responsible for compliance and AML regulation.
The lawsuit alleges, “The actions of Great Canadian were devised with the ulterior motive of preventing Mr. Soo from clarifying his employment obligations and addressing and clearing his name of the defamatory statements made against him. They were designed to protect Great Canadian, its Board and its senior executives.”
Soo says he is glad to take part in the public investigation into the money laundering issue to clear his name. He is charging for loss of salary and is requesting for an order declaring his employment contract invalid.
GCG has labelled Soo’s accusations “unnecessary, scandalous, frivolous and vexatious.”