The special independent audit on “serious allegations” of money laundering at the casino has not yet started as the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, is already “certain” that practices at Loto-Quebec have improved.
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“Loto-Québec has definitely improved its practices since 2012,” said Minister Girard, to whom the state corporation reports.
As our Investigation Office reported, Loto-Québec was fined nearly $ 150,000 in 2012 by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC) for failing to report questionable transactions at the Casino de Montréal.
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The federal body against money laundering had at the time ordered “very significant improvements”, which would have been made, reported Minister Girard, during a press briefing at the National Assembly. He draws on another report produced in 2016 by FINTRAC, which he considers “very positive”.
“There will be another FINTRAC report in 2020,” said Girard, visibly optimistic.
Reassured by senior management
Since the publication of the reports from our Bureau of Investigation, the Minister of Finance has stepped up discussions with the senior management of Loto-Québec.
“There were several meetings this weekend,” he said. There was a board meeting yesterday. I have been in personal contact with the president of the board, the CEO of Loto-Québec, this weekend on several occasions. Obviously, they plead their good faith. ”
Mr. Girard believes that the independent external audit announced Monday will “provide answers” to several questions about the phenomenon of money laundering and loan sharking.
“Above all, it will allow us to compare what Loto-Québec does with other gambling establishments in Canada,” said the Minister.
“Money laundering is present in the economy across Canada,” he said.
Mr. Girard also ruled out the possibility of being interested in native casinos, because they “are not under provincial jurisdiction”.