River Rock employees told to turn a blind eye to abuse
The embattled casino can’t catch a break
The casino at the heart of the largest money-laundering scandal in Canada’s history, River Rock Casino Resort, is now having to deal with another public relations nightmare. According to two reports just released by the attorney general of British Columbia (BC), David Eby, the venue’s management ordered staff to toughen up and endure years of threats, harassment and violence from casino clients.
One report was conducted by Paladin Security and was commissioned by the BC Lottery Corp. to review workplace conduct. The report indicates that staff had to “turn a blind eye” to incidents such as chairs being thrown, being poked with gambling chips and attempts at playing “footsies.” In some cases, staff also received death threats and, in a 2017 incident, two workers were slapped by a patron in their faces, but none was able to do anything.
Eby said of the findings, “There’s no question that we’ve had very serious issues in Lower Mainland casinos and as a result, the government is overhauling the oversight and policing of casinos.”
From November 2017 to April 2018, there were 49 incidents of physical assault, assault with a weapon, sexual assault and sexual harassment. 17 of these were never reported to the BC Lottery Corp. Representatives from the casino’s Human Resources department made employees sign confidentiality statements to not report the incidents and one was threatened with being fired if the issue were discussed publicly.
The second report looked into whether or not casino owners reported incidents in compliance with the Gaming Control Act. That investigation determined that, where necessary, all reports were properly made to police, but not to the appropriate branch of the BC Lottery Corp. that oversees that venue’s operations.