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Call for B.C. gambler’s code of conduct in wake of damning casino report


The River Rock Casino, 8811 River Rd, Vancouver, June 27 2018.


Gerry Kahrmann / PNG

The Attorney General is calling for a gambler’s code of conduct at B.C. casinos after a damning report into working conditions at Richmond’s River Rock Casino.

The ministry’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch made the call in a report compiled after an earlier report into dozens of harassment and violence claims made by front-line casino staff.

That earlier report, conducted by Paladin Security at the request of the B.C. Lotteries Corp., found among other things that a drunk VIP gambler slapped an employee, and then wrote them a $2,000 cheque.

It confirmed reports that an angry VIP gambler had thrown an item at a dealer, a dealer was threatened with death by a player (resulting in a 24-hour ban for the gambler) and a guest-services supervisor was assaulted.

The report stated that “according to several dealers and supervisors, verbal abuse bordering on uttering threats occurs daily, if not hourly.”

It went on to say “extra” considerations were given to VIP gamblers, including the right to keep a dealer at the table that they believed to be good luck, even if the dealer was rostered off or needed to go to the washroom.

“A number of individuals mentioned the Dogwood Room as problematic, between its combination of overwhelming bet volume, poor standards of player behaviour and complicit supervisors and managers,” the Paladin report stated. “Some suggested that if you don’t speak Mandarin, you don’t have a change to work a higher-tipping VIP table.”

The Paladin report was based on interviews with 460 of the casino’s 1,200 front-line staff.

The gaming policy branch report found that all incidents that were required to be reported to police had been reported, and there was no evidence the casino’s management or employees had suppressed reports.

It stated that between 2010 and August 2018 the River Rock Casino had sent 17,581 workplace reports to the gaming policy branch.

“When one considers the 17 alleged unreported incidents and the eight reported incidents that did not generate a (workplace report) from the same time range, the percentage of potential unreported incidents amounts to 0.142 per cent. This fact strongly suggests the (River Rock Casino), as a corporation, is paying due-diligence to its reporting requirements … ”

The branch wants the code of conduct to clearly outline the behaviour and conduct expected of all patrons (including VIPs), and clearly outlines the consequences that a patron will face if they were to be found in violation.

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