The alleged incidents range in seriousness from failing to comply with regulations around ID'ing patrons to failing to identify what would normally be flagged as suspicious behaviour possibly related to money-laundering.
Kamloops (27 August 2018) — Members of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) on strike at Gateway Casinos' 4 Thompson-Okanagan casinos gathered at B.C. Lottery Corporation's (BCLC) head office in Kamloops on August 20 to call upon the regulatory body to investigate whether the casinos are operating safely during the strike.
Questions surface about Gateway's security practices
"We've got questions about how Gateway Casinos have been operating their Thompson-Okanagan casinos," said Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President. "Based on what our members have witnessed and reports we've heard, it sounds like Gateway hasn't been living up to their obligations under BCLC and provincial gaming laws and regulations during this strike."
In a letter, the union asked BCLC to investigate potential irregularities in the casinos' operations witnessed by striking workers since they walked out in late June. The alleged incidents range in seriousness from failing to comply with regulations around ID'ing patrons to failing to identify what would normally be flagged as suspicious behaviour possibly related to money-laundering.
"At a time when the entire casino industry is supposed to be under increased scrutiny, we believe the BCLC should shut down Gateway's casinos until the company can demonstrate that they are willing and able to operate responsibly," said Smith.
Gateway workers and their union are asking BCLC to investigate specifically whether the casinos are maintaining the security of casino assets at all times, properly safeguarding against corruption and money-laundering, complying with B.C.'s liquor policies, and adequately ensuring the safety of staff and patrons.
BCGEU/NUPGE went on strike over living wages, working conditions
Almost 700 BCGEU/NUPGE members working at 4 Gateway Casinos in the Thompson-Okanagan walked off the job on June 29 after mediation broke down with their employer. Workers are fighting for living wages, better working conditions, and respect on the job.
BCGEU/NUPGE represents staff spread across Gateway's 4 casinos in the Thompson-Okanagan: Playtime Casino in Kelowna, Lake City Casino in Vernon, and Cascades Casinos in Kamloops and Penticton. BCGEU/NUPGE members work in table games, as slot attendants, cashiers, and in the count room, kitchen, security, guest services and maintenance.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE