What’s the point of being a celebrity if you don’t stir up drama once in a while?
About three weeks ago, Parq Vancouver casino was accused by one of the top artists of our time, of racial profiling. The incident happened after Drake was allegedly denied service at the establishment after refusing to fill out a source of funds declaration form. This led to the pop star to accuse the establishment of racial profiling. But the question is, was this really a case of racial profiling? Let’s have a look at the course of events:
The Instagram post that told all to the world
In the early hours of Saturday morning, Drake posted a picture of Parq Vancouver on his Instagram, accusing it of being the “worst run business I have ever witnessed … profiling me and not allowing me to gamble when I had everything they originally asked me for.”
Needless to say, this piece of news went viral instantly and people from all over the world attacked the casino for being “discriminating” towards Drake, and loads more added that they would “never step foot inside that casino ever again” – the usual kind of story that takes place when something like this happens right?
A celebrity posts something bad about an establishment, fans believe said celebrity and proceed to attack the establishment online, and oftentimes, this ends up in the establishment receiving a bad name and even worse, losing millions or billions of dollars because of it.
Very rarely do people stop and ask: but what did really happen? Because, after all, none of us were there at any point, and we’re only hearing one side of the story – regardless of them being celebrities – celebrities lie you know, or twist things. They are human like us at the end of the day. So without further ado, let’s get cracking on the case and attempt to answer the million dollar question.
What really went down that fateful evening
Here’s the other side of the story which people rarely tend to ask about.
According to Exclaim Magazine, shortly after Drake posted on Instagram, a Reddit comment from someone who claimed to work at the casino – which was later confirmed to be true – wrote that “the minute Drake walked in, everyone knew exactly who he was.” The user also added that Drake was not refused at the first get-go as many were led to believe. In fact, Drake had already gambled with under $10,000 cash (which is the maximum allowable amount without a declaration under the money laundering rules).
Not only that, but Drake also wired additional funds for which the casino could see the source. The trouble came during his third attempt to re-up as he was trying to use cash that would put him over the $10,000 cash threshold. And this is where the drama began to unfold.
Since Drake reportedly went over that amount stated in the rules, a source of funds declaration form was needed to be filled in for the casino to comply with rules and regulations. The form required the person’s identification, an explanation of where the money came from, the name of the financial institution, the branch and account number, as well as a receipt. But it seems Drake interpreted this as a case of racial profiling instead.
Money laundering in casinos & British Columbia’s new protocol
According to Casinos.co, an online casino guide, money laundering in casinos is a big problem and this is why casinos need to take precautionary measures and perform regular checks. Playing illegal money at the casino is one way how criminals get away with laundering money.
This is how it’s done:
“First criminals take their dirty (illegal) money to casinos. They then play and bet using it passing the dirty money to the casino. When they win and withdraw money it is now clean (not illegal).”
On this note, Casinos.co explain why the casino not only had the right, but had the duty, to inquire after Drake’s source of funds:
“One of the measures casinos in British Columbia brought in was the source of funds check. Which is what led to the trouble with Drake. Currently, any player with cash of $10,000 or more will be subject to the same checks. Details needed for the source of funds check usually include ID, where the money came from, the name of the account used, the name of the bank used and receipt. Refusal to provide these details means you can’t play at the casino.”
So now the issue becomes clear – the casino was only following procedures. So, why did Drake refuse to give such details? Was he offended that he was not recognized as a celebrity and therefore offended that they would ask where all that money came from? Or did he really think this had somehow a case of racial profiling?
In order to clear the air about the situation, the British Columbia government released a statement explaining the new protocols that came into effect last January:
“The new rules that we have in B.C. are meant to apply universally. Every person that goes into one is subject to the same rules and they apply without exception.”
Moreover, as one would expect, Parq Vancouver Casino also issued a statement regarding the matter, explaining that they take such matters seriously, but also that, they are only following the strict regulations that have been imposed on them due to the nature of the industry:
“Parq Vancouver is sorry to hear about this experience and takes these matters very seriously. We are required to adhere to strict regulations with respect to gaming in British Columbia. We are actively investigating this matter and have made several efforts to reach out to the customer and his team to discuss the issue. We are committed to having a productive conversation to resolve this issue.”
Three weeks later, the casino is apparently suffering big losses from this incident. Whilst the casino is reportedly investigating the incident and racial profiling allegations, on the other hand, there has been no further comment from Drake’s side.
Now that we’ve seen both sides of the story, where do you stand? Seeing that money laundering is a serious criminal offense, and one that happens to be facilitated by paying illegal money at casinos, do you think Parq Vancouver was in the right, or do you still stand with Drake? Let us know in the comments below!