During September 2015 the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) reported that they have initiated an investigation after receiving a formal complaint regarding the operation of the Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby, British Columbia by Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited. BCLC reports that an official file has been created and that the investigation is being handled by the Casino Security division from the Vancouver office. There have been several complaints stated by customers in the past regarding the operation of the Grand Villa Casino which appears to have opened during November 2008 under the casino license allocated for the area of Burnaby. The Grand Villa facility physically appears to be very nice and somewhat luxurious, however complaints from customers continue as of September 2015 regarding how the location is being operated by Gateway Casinos.
The September 2015 complaint alleges that the casino staff are operating the Burnaby location on a daily basis contrary to the gaming regulations and accepted rules. The complaint allegations have not been proven by BCLC and the Casino Security investigation is in progress going forward during 2015. Management at the Grand Villa Casino and Gateway Casinos corporate office were previously warned of customer concerns at the Burnaby location months earlier during 2015. Grand Villa Casino management previously acknowledged that there was a problem and that the staff were clearly operating outside of the gaming regulations. During September 2015 there was evidence to suggest that the Grand Villa Casino management had not successfully dealt with the controversial situations that were taking place on the casino gaming floor at the tables which lead to the formal complaint being filed with BCLC during September 2015.
The full details of the complaints being put forward by customers regarding the operation of the Grand Villa Casino cannot be printed here in this article due to the threat of a potential lawsuit by Gateway Casinos. Only some details of the Grand Villas casino operation which clearly fall under the right to fair comment are noted in this article. The controversial situations where the evidence is in plain sight of casino management and customers is discussed in this article because they are protected by Canadian Laws under the right to fair comment.
The official complaint filed with BCLC during September 2015 and consequential investigation are regarding the non English languages being spoken by the casinos staff at the tables. Specifically the Craps table where there are many casino staff working at the same time who are speaking non English languages between themselves on a daily basis. According to the BCLC website and Grand Villas Casino management, English is the only language that is supposed to be spoken by the casino staff at the gaming tables. The staff are not allowed to use foreign languages to converse between themselves at the gaming tables according to the BCLC website and Grand Villa Casino management. The full note about this subject from the BCLC website is noted below.
“What language can be spoken at the card game tables? As a rule accepted by all service providers, only English is spoken by dealers or dealer supervisors while on the gaming floor. However if there is a player who needs help or direction of a table game, dealers may use a different language provided the dealer supervisor understands that language and the dealer seeks permission from the dealer supervisor beforehand to use that language. Having said this, if the dealer is Asian and the dealer supervisor is Caucasian and an Asian patron needs direction or help with a table game, the dealer supervisor will inform the floor manager of this and an Asian staff usually from Guest Services will be brought in to assist the patron. At no time are dealers or dealer supervisors allowed to use a foreign language otherwise.”
The full BCLC page that notes the usage of languages at the gaming tables can be viewed using the link below.
Casino Staff Use Non English Languages At Gaming Tables
During multiple observations at the Grand Villa Casino, staff from The Whistler News directly observed the casino staff speaking between themselves using languages other than English. The languages being used by the Grand Villas Casino staff appear to be Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese. The multiple observations took place at the Craps table on the casino floor during 2014 and 2015 where there are multiple staff working together to provide gaming service to the public. On multiple days at multiple times the casino staff are observed openly conversing between themselves in a non English language. This situation of non English languages being used by the casino staff has produced a lot on controversy.
Casino Staff Openly Criticize Customers At Gaming Tables
The situation at the Grand Villa Casino gaming tables become very controversial when the casino staff openly criticize the customers. This has been observed several times at the Craps and Poker tables. The casino staff literally make critical statements openly about specific players. This takes place in front of all the other players and casino staff at the tables.
Management Asked To Remove The Controversial Dealers From The Gaming Tables
During 2015 once the management for the Grand Villa Casino acknowledged that their staff were operating in contravention to the gaming regulations, they were asked to remove the controversial dealers from the gaming tables. More specifically remove them from the group staff tables so that future incidents of conflict involving the casino staff and customers could be avoided. The management at the Grand Villas Casino replied that it would not be possible to remove the controversial dealers from the group staff tables. Some customers at this point stopped visiting the Grand Villas Casino location because they were tired of being openly criticized and insulted by the groups of the casino staff.
Examples Of How Grand Villa Casino Staff Treat Customers
In the past there has been some rather controversial situations observed at the Grand Villa Casino gaming floor observed by staff from The Whistler News publication. A few examples are noted below.
Example #1: Craps Table Staff Does Not Care
In this example a customer placed a bet at the Craps table and won during a roll of the dice. The payout was one $5 red chip and several $1 white chips. When paying the bet the casino staff asked the customer to provide white chip(s) in order to receive the payout as two $5 red chips. The customer replied with “I like whites” and the staff replied with “I don’t care”. The situation begs the question are customers not allowed to play with the authorized chip denominations at the gaming tables?
Example #2: Craps Table Staff Cannot Pay The Bet
In this example a customer placed a pass line bet at the Craps table mid-roll. So that means that the bet goes on the pass line edge and counts as a place bet. The bet placed was a single $5 red chip. The dealer raised no objection when the bet was placed by the customer. The bet should have been $6 which is one red and one white chip since the point was set to either 6 or 8. The shooter hit the point and the dealer refused to pay the bet. The dealer stated “I cannot pay that bet”. The situation begs the question if the bet was not valid why did the dealer allow it in the first place for multiple rolls of the dice?
Example #3: Players Expected To Chop The Poker Blinds
In this example poker players theoretically according to the gaming regulations have the right to Fold, Call or Raise out of the blinds during pre-flop action. So in this example a player is dealt pocket Jacks in the small blind. Everyone folds to the small blind. The small blind raises to $10 in an effort to win the Super Bad Beat jackpot which stipulates that $20 must be in the pot using a hand of pocket eights or better. The player in the big bling says “chop” which means that they do not wish to play the hand and pull back the posted blinds. The player in the small blind is not obligated to respond and decides to remain silent. The player in the big blind then proceeds to become critical of the player in the small blind for not agreeing to chop. Other players at the table join in and proceed to criticize the player in the small blind for not agreeing to a chop. The casino staff dealer does not stop the player criticisms and does not state the official rules. The casino staff dealer then proceeds to state that chopping the blinds is expected and is a courtesy. The situation begs the question why are players not being allowed to play poker in accordance with the gaming regulations and why are they being expected to adhere to some mythical non-enforceable set of rules developed by the player?
Example #4: Poker Dealers Do Not Accurately Call The Winning Hand
Some dealers at the Grand Villa Casino at times do not accurately call the winning hand at the poker table. This has been observed on multiple occasions at the poker tables where a dealer will finish a hand, then push the pot to the wrong player which results in the players objecting because they can accurately read the board and determine the winning hand.
Grand Villa Casino Previously Audited
A report was found on the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch that shows an audit of the Grand Villa
Casino Regulations In British Columbia
There are several gaming regulations in British Columbia which all casinos are expected to adhere to. Below are links to additional information resources regarding gaming regulations in British Columbia.
Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch
Gaming Control Act
Grand Villa Casino Location Very Popular At Times
At times the Grand Villa Casino location is very popular and the building fills to capacity. An example is the when the casino decided to show the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao boxing fight on TV. The casino filled to capacity and large crowds could be seen standing outside of the building. The inside of the building is nice with many places to watch live sports events while enjoying food or gaming entertainment. There is also live music bands that play in the bar area of the casino usually during the weekends when the location is the most busy.
More information about the BCLC can be viewed on the organization website using the link below.
More information about Gateway Casinos can be viewed on the organization website using the link below.
Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited Invited To Respond
Management from Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited has been invited on September 19, 2015 to include a response in this article.
On September 22, 2015 Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited emailed the following response.
“We are aware that BCLC reviews concerns brought to their attention and investigates substantiated complaints. Gateway is not aware of any BCLC/GPEB/other regulatory investigation on this matter ….” Tanya Gabara – Director, Public Relations