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Alleged presence of individuals linked to organized crime at casinosLoto-Québec wishes to elaborate on certain points

Alleged presence of individuals linked to organized crime at casinosLoto-Québec wishes to elaborate on certain points

Montréal, November 26, 2020 With regard to an article published in the Journal de Montréal on the alleged presence of individuals linked to organized crime at its casinos, and a report that is set to air tonight on J.E. on TVA, Loto-Québec wishes to elaborate on certain points.

First of all, with respect to the individuals who have been mentioned, under the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information and Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, Loto-Québec was obliged to decline requests for an interview as it cannot divulge any personal information, nor report on the actions that may have been taken to deal with specific individuals who frequent public places like casinos and may therefore enroll in pre-established programs that are  open to anyone aged 18 or older.

Loto-Québec compliance program and collaboration with the authorities

Loto-Québec states that it actively works with various stakeholders involved in the fight against money laundering and has put in place various procedures and measures to this effect.

Loto-Québec administers a compliance program under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act. The purpose of this program is to ensure that Loto-Québec, like all other reporting entities that the Act applies to, contributes to the fight against money laundering and complies with all regulatory requirements, including the following:

  • Report to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC):
  • When it receives $10,000 or more, or makes a disbursement of $10,000 or more to a customer, in cash
  • Any dubious financial transaction that occurs or is attempted, and for which there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the transaction is related to money laundering
  • Establish policies that ensure that all the regulatory requirements are met in its gaming establishments
  • Train all customer-facing staff as well as any person in charge of monitoring the compliance program
  • Assess any risks related to its activities and customers, thus ensuring that customers, including those deemed high risk, are continually monitored


Collaboration with the police

  • Loto-Québec provides any information requested by police forces and other law enforcement authorities, and take any action required by them, particularly when it relates to matters of interest. What’s more, certain information revealed in the report is derived from collaboration with the police and information that was given to them as part of that collaboration.


Results of internal audits

It should be noted that Loto-Québec’s compliance program is subject to several reviews. During its 2016 review, FINTRAC found no issues with the program and invited Loto-Québec to continue applying its program, which it did.

This review is in addition to those carried out regularly by renowned external firms, including in 2015 and 2019. During the latter review, Loto-Québec requested that particular attention be paid to the situation in British Columbia, which is referred to in a report by Dr. Peter M. German with respect to the business reality of Loto-Québec. It was concluded that Loto-Québec already had mechanisms in place to manage the risks raised and comply with the regulatory framework. Furthermore, Loto-Québec has taken action relating to improvements suggested to reinforce these mechanisms.

Access to the casino and the Casino Privilèges program

A casino is a public space accessible to any person 18 years of age or older. The Corporation cannot prevent individuals or groups of people from entering.

As in the case for access to the casino, any customer who wishes to join the Casino Privilèges program is free to do so. This rewards program rewards program modeled after programs offered elsewhere in all North American casinos. Members may receive rewards—not gifts—which are self-funded by their own restaurant and gaming activities.

Procedures in place for casino activities

With regard to the specific procedures applied at casinos with respect to all customers, the following general rules should be noted:

  • A cheque is issued to a customer once it is confirmed that they won money while gaming.
  • The inventory of chips in circulation is monitored and allows discrepancies to be detected.
  • A monitoring process aimed at detecting instances where money is exchanged between individuals is carried out in order to prevent loan sharking in particular.


Patrice Lavoie
Corporate Director, Media and Public Affairs

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