Finance minister orders external audit of Quebec casinos after investigation into Mafia perks
02 Dec 2020

Quebec’s finance minister has ordered an external and independent audit of the province’s casinos.

The move comes after Quebec French-language news channel TVA’s investigative unit found Mafia leaders had received access to luxury perks through the Montreal Casino, including tickets to shows, meals and free hotel rooms.

Finance Minister Eric Girard said he wants a deeper look into how the casinos operate, especially when it comes to loyalty programs. Casinos in the province are run by Loto-Quebec, a provincial Crown corporation.

The independent audit will investigate potential money laundering and criminal activity and will look into the loyalty program to ensure it’s not rewarding those who get receive cash from illegal activity.

The investigation by TVA made a number of claims that Mafia members were receiving luxury perks. It found one alleged Mafioso was listed among the top 10 players at the Montreal Casino in 2019. Stefano Sollecito was at the centre of a police investigation in 2014 and 2015 and during that time, he is said to have gambled away $2.5 million.

Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade told The Canadian Press she wants to see an independent public inquiry, and said it would not have to stretch over a few years, like that of the Charbonneau Commission. Instead, she said, several commissions with a well-targeted mandate and on “very specific subjects” would take six months, she said.

By Kelly Greig, CTV News, 30 November 2020

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