Olg Woodbine Casino
Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario spokesman Ray Kahnert said the review was triggered by allegations in B.C., and Ontario's review focuses on management's integrity and reporting obligations in Ontario, and the company's capacity to minimize unlawful activity including money laundering.
But now, an investigation by Global News shows that a Toronto hedge fund that is connected to PC candidate Caroline Mulroney — and held a massive stake in the B.C. casino company — repeatedly lobbied the PCs in late 2017 to stop criticizing Great Canadian.
In an interview, Ajax Mayor Steve Parish — who claims that his municipality lost its successful casino to a new Great Canadian location in a process that smelled of backroom deals” — said he hopes complaints to market regulators will re-open and invalidate” the Toronto-area casino deals.
The emails, and extensive interviews with a number of party insiders, show that BloombergSen — the Toronto hedge fund that was seen as pro-Great Canadian” according to PC emails — repeatedly contacted the Tories seeking to stop questioning of Great Canadian.
In a brief interview, Di Nino maintained that the very disturbing” information he conveyed to Soliman, was simply that he couldn't believe OLG would award Great Canadian significant contracts while a review of money laundering allegations continued in B.C.
In a series of October 2017 emails exchanged between Patrick Brown, Rick Dykstra, and former party communications director Rebecca Thompson, Thompson suggested the PCs should question whether there were changes in the OLG bid process for the Toronto contracts, and whether there was political involvement.|||||||||
Party emails show the PCs, under former leader Patrick Brown, originally decided to attack the Toronto casino deals after B.C. Attorney General David Eby in September 2017 launched an independent review into allegations of transnational money laundering in Metro Vancouver casinos.
On Tuesday, after this story was published, Global News asked Ford to respond. But since Great Canadian has taken over the casinos — there's new criticism from financial experts who say the public assets were sold much too cheaply. In a research note titled Hitting the lottery,” analysts at Scotiabank said Great Canadian handily beat estimates based on a materially greater contribution,” from the first two months of operating the Toronto-area casinos.
There was not much information, but the subject line — PCs still talking about Great Canadian” — speaks for itself. The GTA Gaming Bundle sale involved the disposition of gaming assets including OLG Slots at Woodbine and Ajax Downs, and the Great Blue Heron Casino.|||||||||
Eby said the review was needed because an audit of Great Canadian's River Rock Casino, in Richmond, revealed tens of millions in suspicious cash transactions. In the fall of 2017, Ontario's Progressive Conservative party urged the provincial government to freeze the deals, after it was revealed Great Canadian Gaming was at the centre of casino money-laundering probes.