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Ontario casinos detected $372 million in cash transactions that were deemed suspicious in 2022



Critics are calling for immediate action to address a concerning trend in Ontario casinos, where over $350 million in suspicious transactions were detected over the past year – specifically, $372 million. They warn that failure to take action could result in the region being associated with money laundering in its casinos.

Provincial gambling officials have stated that the significant number of reports regarding suspicious transactions is evidence that casino staff are diligent in their reporting efforts. However, Kristyn Wong-Tam, the NDP’s critic for the Attorney-General, expressed concern about the volume of reports, stating that it is alarming and that more proactive measures are necessary.

In related news, according to freedom of information requests obtained by CTV News, Ontario casinos reported $372 million in suspicious transactions in 2022. Although this figure represents an increase of $38 million from pre-pandemic levels, it follows a period of pandemic-related lows.

An investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) found that Branavan Kanapathipillai was responsible for over $4 million in casino buy-ins and withdrawals over several years. His $824,700 cash buy-in at Pickering Casino Resort in July 2022 raised concerns among casino staff, who created suspicious cash transaction reports and notified authorities. Despite the red flags, the casino still accepted Kanapathipillai’s cash, as did at least three other casinos since 2016.


The One Toronto Gaming Anti-Money Laundering Unit identified Kanapathipillai as having conducted suspicious transactions due to the discrepancy between his occupation and casino gaming activity, the spike in his gaming activity, and the high number of large cash transactions. Kanapathipillai was caught when he attempted to buy in with almost $100,000 of cash at Niagara’s Fallsview Casino, leading to the money being seized by the OPP.

According to gambling officials in Ontario, the filing of reports in Kanapathipillai’s case indicates that the system in place to monitor suspicious cash transactions is working and enabling law enforcement to follow the money. The AGCO released new standards in 2022 that require casino operators to determine and certify a patron’s source of funds.

Suspicious transaction figures dropped significantly in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, but with the reopening of casinos, the total amount of suspicious transactions has increased.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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