News

Dec 2019

The underworld laundromat: How to clean $10 million in mob money

Laundering, the near-invisible financial fiddling, is an essential element of the cycle that keeps mobsters and transnational crime bosses in business

Nov 2019

GSPC is now on Twitter!!

GSPC is now on Twitter!!

We are pleased to announce that the Gaming Security Professionals of Canada is now on Twitter!! Follow us here to stay up to date on the latest information and intelligence in the Gaming Industry in Canada!!!

Casino guest racks up huge list of fraud charges

On the eve of Black Friday and the annual season of — for many — shopping excess comes a stark warning to consumers: guard your privacy.

Jul 2019

NEWS, SECURITY ALERT

NEWS, SECURITY ALERT

Investigators with the York Regional Police Organized Crime and Intelligence Bureau – Traditional Organized Crime Task Force, along with investigators from the Canada Revenue Agency, the Ontario Provincial Police, Peel Regional Police, Canada Border Services and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) have charged nine people and seized more than $35 million in proceeds of crime in an illegal gaming investigation named Project Sindacato.

An investigation into the Figliomeni organized crime group began in early 2018, with a focus on its participation in a criminal organization, money laundering, loan sharking and illegal gaming. During the course of the investigation, intelligence gathered indicated that the criminal organization was acting under the direction of Angelo FIGLIOMENI. Its criminal activities included illegal gaming operations in the City of Vaughan as well as an extensive money laundering system to hide the immense profitability from these activities.

Beginning on Friday, July 12, 2019, with the assistance of the Toronto Police Service, Halton Regional Police Service, Durham Regional Police, Hamilton Police Service, Waterloo Regional Police, Barrie Police Service, Brantford Police Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 48 warrants at residences, businesses and cafes were executed across the Greater Toronto Area. As a result of the search warrants, nine people were taken into custody and more than $35 million dollars in offence-related property and proceeds of crime has been seized. Some of the property seized includes more than $1 million in currency, 27 mafia-owned homes and 23 high-end luxury vehicles.

“These arrests signify the fall of power for the most significant ‘Ndrangheta crime family operating in York Region,” said Chief Eric Jolliffe. “Over the past 18 months, we have invested heavily, using our finest and most highly-trained investigators to bring an end to this family’s international illegal gaming and money-laundering activities. We know that violence has occurred as a result of their activities and that our community is a safer place following these arrests and charges.”

The investigation is ongoing.

Jan 2019

News Briefing – January 2019

News Briefing – January 2019

2019 AGM – Caesars Windsor – June 18-20

The 2019 AGM was a great event, with an outstanding education program and a unique opportunity to network with the key persons engaged in the Canadian gaming industry's security, surveillance, risk management, cyber security and operational compliance functions. 
 

Happy Anniversary!

In 2019 we will be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Gaming Security Professionals of Canada. The Association was formed in 1994 as a network of casino security directors in the early days of the Canadian industry. The initiative to create this network was undertaken by Loto-Quebec and it became a registered not-for profit called the Canadian Association of Casino Security Directors (CACSD). The mandate, scope and services provided by what evolved into the GSPC have broadened greatly since those early days, but the commitment to the security, integrity and responsibility of our industry has remained unchanged.

 

2019 – 2021 GSPC Strategic Plan

The GSPC Board of Directors is pleased to present its 2019 – 2021 Strategic Plan. We are confident it will provide the Association with the framework to support its continuing evolution. Your comments, questions and suggestions are most welcome. You can contact us via the GSPC website or direct to our Executive Director, Gerry Boose at gerald.boose@gspc.ca.

Dec 2018

News Briefing – Dec 10 2018

News Briefing – Dec 10 2018

Announcing Changes to GSPC Board of Directors

Our colleague Val Abela, Security Director at Casino Rama, has decided to step down from the GSPC Board of Directors owing to personal reasons.  Val has been a Vice President on the Board and Chair of its Governance Committee.  In stepping down, Val said, “I am VERY proud of the Association and even more proud to have been able to serve as a member of the Board and work alongside industry professionals.   I greatly appreciate the support I received, thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Board and will be very happy to assist in any way possible going forward.”  The Directors of the GSPC would like to thank Val for her service in this role and are pleased she will continue to be an active Member of the Association.

Michael Robitaille, appointed as Vice President of GSPC effective November 22, 2018, brings 20 years of gaming experience to the Board.

The GSPC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Michael Robitaille, Director Security and Surveillance Service Operations at OLG has been appointed by the Board to fill the vacancy created by Val’s departure.  Such appointments are provided for in the GSPC Bylaws when a vacancy occurs mid-term.  Mike’s appointment took effect on November 22, 2018 and will continue through to the 2020 AGM, at which point there would be an election.  We welcome Mike and the OLG presence on the Board.  Mike brings a wealth of experience to the table and OLG has been a great supporter of the Association.  OLG has a very significant presence in the GSPC and has twice been a major Sponsor of the AGM’s.

See Michael Robitaille's Bio

 

Publication

Canadian Anti-Money Laundering Law 2018:  A Period of Intense Activity – by Rob Kroeker, Vice President Corporate Security and Compliance, BCLC

This year has proven to be an active one when it comes to anti-money laundering law in Canada. As casinos, both land based and internet, are amongst the sectors of the economy subject to Canada’s anti-money laundering requirements, change to the anti-money laundering regime often mean important changes to anti-money laundering practice in casinos. As we will see, the activities this year, and the coming changes, will definitely have impacts to casinos across the country…

Canadian Anti-Money Laundering Law 2018: A Period of Intense Activity

This year has proven to be an active one when it comes to anti-money laundering law in Canada. As casinos, both land based and internet, are amongst the sectors of the economy subject to Canada’s anti-money laundering requirements, change to the anti-money laundering regime often mean important changes to anti-money laundering practice in casinos. As we will see, the activities this year, and the coming changes, will definitely have impacts to casinos across the country...

Oct 2018

GSPC – Fall 2018 Newsletter

The GSPC is enhancing its Member services by issuing Newsletters each Spring, Winter and Fall, as well as providing News Briefings with an operational focus on emerging issues.

Please keep in mind that it is our Members that are the experts in Canadian Gaming Security and we welcome your input into the GSPC website, Newsletters and News Briefings. We encourage you to forward your ideas to Gerry Boose, our Executive Director, at gerald.boose@gspc.ca.

Congratulations to Fallsview Casino on an Outstanding 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM)!

Those persons attending the 2018 AGM at Fallsview Casino will know that Richard Paris and his team did a great job in Hosting the event. The venue, the program and the networking opportunities were all first class and set a standard the GSPC will strive to replicate in future years.

Special thanks to our Title Sponsor, OLG as well as our Supporting Sponsors, Fallsview Casinos, BCLC, ISB and GardaWorld. As well, none of this would be possible without the continuing support of our Corporate Members, Honeywell, SSI, Omnigo (previously iView), GLI, Everi and Jean-Francois Lefebvre.

Thank you to all those persons who participated in our AGM satisfaction survey. You will find the results of the survey on the GSPC website at here.

Highlights of the 2018 Association Business Meeting (ABM).

The ABM is the last item on the agenda of the Annual General Meeting, at which time the focus is on the business of the Association.  The main item of business on the ABM agenda was the election of two Directors to fill vacancies created by end of terms.

Elected were:

  • Richard Paris of Fallsview Casinos, President
    3 year term – 2018 to 2021
  • Benoit Filiatreault of Loto-Quebec, Vice President
    3 year term – 2018 to 2021

The other Members of the GSPC Board are Vice Presidents Shawn McGurk of Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, Val Abela of Casino Rama Resort, Brent Severeyns of Great Canadian Gaming and Vice President Secretary/Treasurer Kevin Sweeney of BCLC.

Other items of note included reaching the milestone of having 100 Members in the Association and the great strides made in updating the website in particular and ensuring the technological platform met the needs of the organization for the foreseeable future.

One area of concern was that while the Association’s balance sheet remains strong, it was anticipated that there would be some future funding pressures if the current trends continued. To mitigate this trend, there was a decision to increase the annual Membership Fees for Individuals to $200 and AGM Registration Fees to $300. There was also recognition that more Corporate Memberships would be required to sustain the level of services the organization has been providing.

Perhaps the highpoint of the ABM was the presentation of the Recognition of Outstanding Service award to the GSPC’s Immediate Past President, Lynda Vachon. Lynda was not able to attend the event and the award was accepted on her behalf by Benoit Filiatreault.

There was also the commitment of Caesars Windsor to Host the 2019 AGM and BCLC to Host the 2020 AGM.

Looking Forward to the 2019 AGM at Caesars Windsor.

The GSPC had been working with the Canadian Gaming Summit for many months to coordinate our events at Caesars Windsor in 2019, but a late and unexpected decision by the Summit to move their event to Edmonton in the same time frame left your Association with the necessity of going it alone. Where possible, your Association tries to collaborate with the Summit to accommodate our Members and Sponsors who wish to participate in both, but with the lack of consultation and late notice, we are left with the situation where we are not going to be able to do that and our Members will unfortunately have to choose to attend one or the other. We hope you choose us!

In any event, the GSPC 2019 Annual General Meeting will be held at Caesars Windsor commencing with a reception the evening of Tuesday June 18 and being concluded at approximately Noon on Thursday June 20. Mark it in your calendars!

Strategic Planning

You will find the GSPC’s Strategic Plan 2015-2018 on our website. We are pleased to see that many of our strategic initiatives have been achieved over the term, but much remains to be done. Your Board will be putting its collective mind to the strategic direction for 2018-2021 over the next few months. Your thoughts would be most welcome.

Want to Get Involved?

The GSPC Board has a number of committees chaired by our Vice Presidents.  They are as follows:

  • Membership
    Brent Severeyns, Great Canadian Gaming
  • Communication
    Shawn McGurk, Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries
  • Governance
    Val Abela, Casino Rama Resort
  • Education
    Kevin Sweeney, BCLC

If you want to get involved in any of these activities, you can contact the respective chairs accordingly.  Their coordinates are in the Membership list located in the Members Only portion of our website.

Please note that we have a particular need for social media expertise on the Communication Committee.  Shawn would be pleased to hear from you if you or someone within your area of responsibility would like to participate.

May 2018

GSPC 2018 AGM at Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls

Mark it in your calendar! The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is the premier event in the GSPC calendar. It commences with a reception the evening of June 20 and business programing concludes at noon on June 22. The AGM immediately follows the Canadian Gaming Summit which will also be held in Niagara Falls.

You can view the invitation and registration form on our homepage at gspc.ca.

The 2018 Canadian Gaming Summit in Niagara Falls

The GSPC will once again be very much involved in the Summit and for this coming year will be an Education Program Content Development Partner.  Our lead person on the content development will be one of our Vice Presidents, Kevin Sweeney of BCLC.  If you have thoughts as to education program content for the AGM or Summit, please feel free to contact Kevin at ksweeney@bclc.com.

It should also be noted that GSPC Members will be offered substantial discounts on Summit registration and GSPC Corporate Members may be eligible for additional Summit discounts if they wish to be further involved as a Summit exhibitor or sponsor.  Feel free to contact Gerry Boose if you would like further information regarding GSPC Member benefits.

Responding to a Changing World

At Casino Rama Resort our goal is to provide a safe, enjoyable entertainment environment for our patrons and entertainers. Perimeter protection, access control and security inspections are some aspects to consider. To that end, our property has recently purchased Garrett PD 6500i walk-through metal detectors for use at the entrance of our 5000 seat Entertainment Centre.

Due to recent world events, more and more artists are requesting higher levels of safety precautions be readily available at performance venues. The newly purchased metal detectors are equipped with infrared sensors designed to boost detection capabilities. Our security employees are trained to perform the new screening process, including the use of handheld wands for secondary inspections.

These metal detectors will provide the artist and concert goers with the utmost peace of mind, while security professionals remain vigilant in improving security controls and emergency procedures.

- Val Abel Vice President GSPC and Director of Security at Casino Rama

Mar 2018

GSPC – Winter 2018 Newsletter

GSPC – Winter 2018 Newsletter

Lynda Vachon Retires

Many of you will already be aware that our President, Lynda Vachon of Loto-Quebec, has announced her well deserved retirement. Her last day of work was January 12, 2018. Lynda provided great leadership to our Association and will continue to be involved as an Alumni Member. We are anticipating that she will be joining us at the 2018 Annual General Meeting in Niagara Falls to facilitate the transition process, so many of you will have the opportunity to personally congratulate her and wish her well upon her retirement.

Filling Board Vacancies

The GSPC Board has the authority through the GSPC Bylaws to appoint Board members when vacancies occur between AGM’s. At its meeting of January 11, 2018, the Board appointed Richard Paris of Fallsview Casinos to the position of President. It also appointed Benoit Filiatreault, Lynda’s replacement at Loto-Quebec, to the Vice President vacancy created by Richard’s promotion. Both appointments were made for terms to conclude at the 2018 AGM, at which point there will be elections held to fill these positions for a period of three years. Persons interested in nominating or being nominated for these positions should contact Gerry Boose, our Executive Director.

2018 AGM – Niagara Falls Ontario

You have already been notified that the 2018 is going to take place in Niagara Falls Ontario, commencing with a reception the evening of June 20th and finishing at lunchtime on June 22nd. Our Host jurisdiction will be Fallsview Casinos. Our Platinum Sponsor for the event will be OLG and our Supporting Sponsors will be Fallsview Casinos and BCLC.

Many thanks to our President, Richard Paris, and his team for taking on the premier event in the GSPC schedule. More information will be provided to you as it becomes available and posted on our website.

NOTE* If you want to stay at Fallsview Casino – BOOK SOON – particularly if you want to attend the Summit. Rooms are limited in availability. Remember that you have to make separate (but linked) bookings for the Summit and the GSPC AGM.

2018 Canadian Gaming Summit – Niagara Falls Ontario

The GSPC is in the process of renewing its relationship with the Summit and we expect to be very much involved in the development of the Educational programing for the 2018 event. The Summit is also going to be held in Niagara Falls next year, from June 18th to 20th, so it will be very convenient for our Members who wish to attend both. Again, more information will be provided to you as it becomes available.

2019 AGM – Caesars Windsor!

Thanks to all of you who participated in our survey to assist the GSPC Board of Directors in determining the location of the 2019 AGM.  The Board concurred with the majority of our Members who preferred that it be held in conjunction with the 2019 Canadian Gaming Summit at Caesars Windsor in Windsor Ontario.

The 2019 AGM will commence the evening of Wednesday June 19th and conclude at approximately noon on Friday June 21st.  Those dates will overlap the Summit, which will be held June 18th to June 20th, but we are working with the Summit to minimize scheduling conflicts.  Mark the dates in your calendar for next year!

Many thanks to Caesars Windsor for hosting our event once again.  We will provide more information at this year’s AGM in Niagara Falls.

Want to Get Involved?

The GSPC Board has a number of committees chaired by our Vice Presidents. They are as follows:

  • Membership - Brent Severeyns (Great Canadian Gaming)
  • Communications - Shawn McGurk (Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries)
  • Governance - Val Abela (Casino Rama)
  • Education - Kevin Sweeney (BCLC)

If you want to get involved in any of these activities, you can contact the respective chairs accordingly. Their coordinates can be found in the Membership list found in the Members Only portion of our website.

Our Administrative Support Team

You should all be aware that running a not-for-profit professional association of approximately 80 Members across Canada is a significant undertaking. Gerry Boose is our only staff member, and that is on a part-time basis. Gerry and the Board’s job would be impossible if it was not for the support of our Administrative volunteers and their respective organizations. In addition to Gerry our virtual “Head Office” consists of:

  • Business Administration - Jaude Pominville (Loto-Quebec)
  • Membership Administration - Cathy Cuglietta (BCLC)
  • Communication Administration - Kurt Raffai (Saskatchewan Gaming)

Many thanks to them for the great work they do.
 

Emergency Preparedness Week 2018 – May 6 to 12

Emergency Preparedness (EP) Week is a national awareness initiative which takes place during the first full week of May each year. EP Week is coordinated by Public Safety Canada, in close collaboration with Emergency Management agencies in each of the provinces and territories.

Since 1996, EP Week has served to increase the public’s awareness about the importance of emergency preparedness. EP Week encourages everyone focus on three basic EP principles;

  • Know the Risks
  • Make a Plan
  • Get an Emergency Kit

Know the Risks: Some emergency and disaster risks are shared by everyone. Others are regional or workplace specific. Some risks are unique to an individual, based on one’s medical condition or functional needs. It’s important to know the risks that affect you, your family, your workplace, and your community. Some emergency risks to consider include; fires, floods, power outages, medical emergencies, flu/virus emergencies, structural collapse, chemical spills, extreme weather events, various human threats, critical systems failures, and others.

Make a Plan: To successfully manage through an emergency, it is important that you have a Plan, review/update the Plan annually, and if possible, practice the execution of the Plan. Everyone should have a personal/family plan to respond to household emergencies, and be well versed on their workplace emergency procedures for responding to a major workplace event. Personal protective needs, evacuation routes, assembly locations, emergency contact lists, communication means, emergency childcare options, and access to survival essentials are just some of considerations for a Plan. Public Safety Canada provides a tool to make a family emergency plan online in about 20 mins.

Get an Emergency Kit: It is recommended you have a well-stocked emergency kit containing critical supplies essential for your survival if isolated from emergency services for 72 hours or more. The Kit should include a copy of your Plan and items such as; water, medication, nonperishable food, flashlight/batteries, candles/matches, whistle, blankets, heat source, important documents, and other items specific to your family’s needs.

Every year during EP Week at Niagara Casinos, the security department coordinates an employee awareness campaign by partnering with Emergency Management Ontario, the local Fire Department and EMS, and internal stakeholders such as JHSC members and Supervisors/Managers in other departments. An information booth is set-up in the employee dining room, staffed by security and the partnering agencies. Employees are provided with information about the three EP principles above, workplace safety and emergency procedures, and community emergency services. Videos, quizzes, draws, and safety related prizes are incorporated to make the event fun and engaging.

If you are interested in establishing an EP Week program at your organization, contact your provincial Emergency Management agency. You can also contact Richard Paris for more details about EP Week programming at Niagara Casinos.

Jan 2018

An Independent Review of Money Laundering in Lower Mainland Casinos conducted for the Attorney General of British Columbia

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Motorola to buy Vancouver surveillance systems maker for $1 billion US

Motorola Solutions announced Friday that it has entered into a $1 billion U.S all-cash agreement to buy Vancouver based Avigilon, a maker of video surveillance systems.

Avigilon high definition video products are used for surveillance in prisons, airports, government facilities, health-care centres, schools and casinos. The company holds more than 750 U.S. and international patents.

AML in Canada

As part of one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world, Canadian gaming operators have long shown an ongoing commitment to improving compliance and cooperation with federal and provincial anti-money laundering (AML) legislation and rules. Canadian Gaming Business recently sat down with leading experts from across Canada to get their perspective on the industry’s approach to AML and the challenges of conducting business under the regulatory microscope.

Oct 2017

GSPC Newsletter – Fall Edition 2017

Nov 2016

Website Development

Website Development

The new GSPC website was introduced at the 2012 AGM.  Since that time we have made great progress thanks to the website design work done by Nenad Lubura of Saskatchewan Gaming and the editorial work done by Cathy Anastasio of BCLC and Jaude Pominville of Loto-Québec. Comments, questions or suggestions can be forwarded to gspc@gspc.ca .

Composition of board of Directors

Composition of board of Directors

Composition of board of Directors

The Gaming Security Professionals of Canada (GSPC) Board of Directors wishes to advise its Membership of a change in the Board’s composition.  In 2012, Mr. Terry Towns retired from the BCLC. He was generous enough to continue insuring his role as President until the 2013 AGM in June, when a new President was elected, Mr. Robert Kroeker, VP Compliance and Corporate Security at the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, Richmond BC. On behalf of the GSPC and all its members, congratulations!

Jan 9-16 Update

Jan 9-16 Update

To the GSPC Membership

We are in the process of re-establishing our practice of providing you with relevant articles and publications, by means of our website, which might not have otherwise crossed your desks.  The latest addition is a publication by our Founding Corporate Member, iView Systems.  It is called “A Systematic Approach to Security Information Convergence”.  As most of you will already know, iView has been a major player in the management of security information in the Canadian Gaming industry for quite some time and is well positioned to speak authoritatively on this topic.  We hope you will find it to be of interest.

Best regards,

Gerald Boose, Executive Director GSPC

Jan 2015

GSPC Newsletter – Winter 2016

GSPC Newsletter – Winter 2016

Hello to All.  I hope your winter has not been too arduous!  Here is what is happening in the GSPC:

Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2016 – As I mention in the last Newsletter, the 2016 AGM will be hosted by Loto-Québec and commence at Casino Lac Leamy in Gatineau (QC) the evening of June 15th and continue through June 16th and 17th.  We will finish at 12:30 PM Eastern on the 17th, which will allow you time to travel home before the weekend.  You should have received the formal notice of the event by email recently and you can find the relevant documentation on the home page of the GSPC website.  We hope to see you there!

Association Business Meeting 2016 – The Business Meeting is held in conjunction with the AGM.  You will find it taking place at 11:15 AM on June 17th on the AGM agenda.  In addition to the required administrative functions, you will be getting status reports from the Board and its Committees, an opportunity to comment and vote on the proposed Bylaws amendments, and an opportunity to participate in the appointment of members to the Board of Directors to fill vacancies occurring in 2016.  It is anticipated the Business Meeting package will be sent out to you in early May of this year.

Strategic Plan 2015 -2018 – The GSPC Strategic Plan has been updated for the period 2015 -2018.  A notice of the update went out late in 2015 and you will find it on the website.  Have a look at the document and give us your thoughts, particularly if you feel there is a role you can play in achieving our objectives.

Canadian Gaming Summit 2016

The 2016 Summit will be held at the Ottawa Convention Centre and Casino Lace Leamy June 13-15.  Once again, the GSPC will be sponsoring and I will be chairing the Summit’s Security & Surveillance Education Program.  You will find a link to the Summit website on the GSPC home page.  GSPC Members enjoy a $400 discount on Summit registration fees, so make sure to tick off the GSPC box on your Summit registration form if you plan to attend.  I should note that the Summit’s closing event on February 15th will be held concurrently with the GSPC opening reception, both at Casino Lac Leamy, so Summit participants may want to time share between the two.

AML Communications and Guidelines Projects – We now have a draft white paper that will form the basis of a communications piece which we hope will dispel some of the myths and misconceptions with regard to money laundering in the gaming environment.  Discussions are underway as to how best to launch this initiative.  We have also sent out requests to the Canadian gaming jurisdictions for their AML policies and procedures on a non-disclosure basis.  These documents will serve as inputs into the development of National Guidelines for AML programs.  Anything you can do to expedite the responses in your respective jurisdictions will be greatly appreciated.

Corporate Membership – Since I last wrote, we have been joined by two additional Corporate Members -Synectics and SSI.  Synectics is a global company with a well-established customer base in Ontario.  SSI has operations across the United States and they are in the early stages of entering the Canadian market.  They will be joining our existing Founding Corporate Member - iView, as well as Corporate Members -Honeywell, MNP, SAS, Biometrica and Jean-François Lefebvre.

GSPC Website –We are currently updating our website with a view to making it more current and relevant to the Membership.  Please feel free to forward and articles or publications to me for posting on the site if you think they would be of interest to the Membership.  Also, I encourage you to make use of the Forum – we often share information by email and over the phone amongst ourselves, but the Forum can be a much more effective and efficient manner to achieve the same ends.

I think that is it for now.  Comments or questions are always welcome.  You can get in touch with me at gerald.boose@gspc.ca.

Best regards,

Gerry Boose, Executive Director GSPC