According to a new statement by a security guard, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation not only routinely covers up loan sharking activities at its casinos, but it actually helps them conduct their illegal business!
I also know that some staff members and supervisors at Great Canadian Casinos assist loan sharks by telling them which customers have been losing and how much they lost.
This shocking allegation comes in a four-page Witness Statement of Nebojsa Kalajdzic, employed for three years as a security guard at several of Great Canadian’s casinos. In it, he says that he is making the statement voluntarily, even though “I realize that I may lose my job as a consequence.”
The statement is dated Sept. 24 2004. Sure enough, he was summarily fired on October 22.
Mr. Kalajdzic corroborates allegations by former colleagues Proka Avramovic and Boki Sikimic whose depositions I excerpted and posted for download last week. [Keep loansharks, prostitutes, drug dealers, mobsters, and Canadians out of our neighborhoods: Vote No on I-892!]
Mr. Kalajdzic describes a Great Canadian where it is “well known” that loan sharking is “widespread” and “tolerated by management.” He says that many loan sharks are “personally known to employees and casino management,” and that the casinos are so infested, that it is common to see “as many loan sharks as players at tables.”
The allegations echo those made by Mr. Sikimic and Mr. Avramovic, who both report that management told them to “look the other way” despite their legal obligation to report such activities to BC authorities. Mr. Kalajdzic wasn’t even permitted to act in defense of a female customer:
I saw a known loan shark and a customer engaged in an argument. I was told that the loan shark had grabbed the customer’s purse containing her identification and was refusing to give it back unless she paid him $9,000.00 to cover a loan made to her. The loan shark left the casino with the purse. I was told by the Shift Manager, Christopher Strongman, that I was not to get involved and that the issue should be resolved between the parties.
A single incident? No… this is company policy:
I have been told by my supervisor, Milan Bajic, and others at Great Canadian to “look the other way” when I see loan sharking activity take place.
Perhaps that’s Great Canadian’s corporate motto… “Look the other way” …? It certainly would apply to the way they’ve successfully abused Canadian libel law to scare the Washington media from revealing their role in I-892, and questioning the business practices of a company that seeks to dominate the state’s gambling industry.
Richmond BC based Great Canadian is I-892′s biggest financial backer ($215,000 thus far), and stands to gain the most from its passage: over $20 million a year from its current four casinos. In public statements it has declared its intent of duplicating here the market domination it enjoys in BC.
Yes… these are just “allegations”, but if these allegations were made against the tribal casinos, don’t you think this would be headline news?
Why…? Why is the press ignoring this scandal?! I-892 is as much a “Great Canadian initiative” as it is Eyman’s, and the media has a responsibility to ask legitimate questions about their business practices.
Don’t love the First Amendment enough to exercise your rights at the risk of a Canadian slap suit? Fine. Don’t mention the allegations of prostitution, racketeering, profit skimming, drugs, rape, and illegal cigarette sales. (Though I’ve been talking about it since the end of June, and they haven’t sued me yet.)
But I’m pleading with my friends in the media to give this loan sharking story some legs! Ask your lawyers… this is a safe subject — even in Canada — now that the libel documents have been filed.
Voters have a right to know. And the media is letting them down.