The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has fined Ontario Gaming GTA Limited Partnership (Casino Woodbine) $80,000 following an investigation into allegations of dealer collusion with casino patrons. AGCO’s investigation into Casino Woodbine’s handling of the conduct of its dealers had violated the Gaming Control Act of 1992 and the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming in Ontario.
AGCO alleges Casino Woodbine failed to detect or take appropriate action on available information to prevent the cheat-at-play and dealer collusion scheme. However, AGCO claims Casino Woodbine fully cooperated with its investigation.
- In April 2023, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Investigation and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) formally charged five individuals.
- Following the formal charges against Casino Woodbine staff and patrons, AGCO “conducted an in-depth compliance review.”
- “Casino Woodbine fully cooperated with the AGCO’s regulatory review and has committed to addressing deficiencies,” said AGCO
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Ontario Provincial Police and Investigation and Enforcement Bureau investigation sparked AGCO review
In April 2023, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Investigation and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) formally charged five individuals in a casino cheating scheme. The charges stemmed from an investigation into collusion between Casino Woodbine patrons and electronics craps dealers.
According to the OPP, their and IEB’s investigation into these five individuals began in October 2022. The lengthy investigation concluded that one Casino Woodbine dealer had colluded with at least four Casino Woodbine patrons. All five people were charged following the investigation.
Arthur Segovia, 52, of Etobicoke, Ontario, a Casino Woodbine dealer, was charged with criminal breach of trust, cheating at play, theft over $5,000, and fraud over $5,000. 25-year-old Daniel Hatton, 29-year-old Khalil Evans, 30-year-old Donovan Smyth-Todd, and 33-year-old Andrew Gayle-Bourne, the four casino patrons, were charged with cheating at play, theft over $5,000, and fraud over $5,000.
The results of this investigation and formal charges led AGCO’s Regulatory Compliance Branch to launch their own investigation into Casino Woodbine.
AGCO found fault with Casino Woodbine monitoring practices
Following the formal charges against Casino Woodbine staff and patrons, AGCO “conducted an in-depth compliance review.” The purpose of this review was to “Casino Woodbine’s adherence to the Gaming Control Act, 1992 and Registrar’s Standards for Gaming.”
AGCO’s compliance review discovered that Casino Woodbine “failed to detect or take appropriate action on available information to prevent the cheat-at-play and dealer collusion scheme.”
AGCO’s specific allegations against Casino Woodbine include that:
- Casino Woodbine did not properly address concerning “internal financial reports and emails indicating substantial and atypical losses from the electronic craps game over a six-month period of time”;
- Casino Woodbine table games supervisors “were often absent from the craps table when suspicious gambling activities occurred”;
- Casino Woodbine video surveillance recordings “failed to follow required rules and procedures and lacked effective supervision”; and
- Casino Woodbine allowed Segovia, the charged dealer, to continue dealing electronic craps despite “seven procedural violations for inappropriately pushing dice to patrons before closing bets.”
These allegations constitute violations of Ontario’s Registrar’s Standards for Gaming. Specifically, Casino Woodbine has violated:
- Standard 4.3, paragraph 2, requiring operators to have adequate supervision in place to ensure adherence to required procedures, including rules of play;
- Standard 4.14, requiring that operators have mechanisms in place to deter, prevent and detect collusion and cheating; and
- Standard 6.1 paragraph 1, requiring that operators conduct risk assessments to determine the potential for unlawful activities, including money laundering, fraud, theft and cheat at plays.
Casino Woodbine “fully cooperated” with AGCO review
Despite the many violations alleged against Casino Woodbine, AGCO spoke highly of the Canadian gaming institution. “Casino Woodbine fully cooperated with the AGCO’s regulatory review and has committed to addressing deficiencies,” said AGCO via a statement announcing Casino Woodbine’s fine.
AGCO further went on to say that “AGCO will continue monitoring to ensure Casino Woodbine appropriately addresses their controls to better detect and prevent casino cheats and dealer collusion.”
Casino Woodbine retains the right to appeal AGCO’s decision before the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT).
Noah Strang is an experienced sports writer having covered many professional sports leagues across North America. He has worked extensively covering the NHL and been accredited media for the Vegas Golden Knights in the past. He’s also known as one of the best iGaming writers across Canada with extensive experience covering the development of legal sports betting across the country. He was born and raised in Vancouver, BC, and enjoys taking advantage of the coastline. When not writing, you can find him watching whatever sport is on TV or playing pickup basketball.