Toronto Man Accused of Casino Fraud

One single Toronto man has been charged in a scheme involving millions of dollars in “suspicious transactions” at a variety of Ontario casinos. The Ontario Provincial Police have been working on the case for months and now believe they have their man in a casino fraud case.

Though we hear about the world of online casino gaming these days, a Toronto-area man has hit the news for potentially committing fraud against several area casinos. Branavan Kanapathipillai allegedly made more than $4 million in deposits at several area casinos over the last several years.

He wasn’t flagged until recently, including a cash buy-in of nearly $100,000 in Niagara Falls. Though there are other factors at play, his buy-ins were the major red flags in terms of overall suspicious transactions across a number of Ontario gaming establishments. 

Slow Response

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Though Kanapathapillai’s actions have been eventually uncovered, this illustrates an underlying problem with detecting potentially problematic casino transactions: speed. Though online casino games often have a stigma related to security, it is just as much a problem for retail locations. 

Authorities eventually caught up to Kanapathapillai but it took years to do so. “It’s a terrible thing to say, but it’s open season for individuals like this,” says retired RCMP money laundering specialist Garry Clement. “They seem pretty obvious. There’s more to this than just gambling.”

More on Kanapathapillai

It seems like that $100,000 buy-in was just the tip of the iceberg as to what he was up to. It was flagged by a cashier at Fallsview Casino. Kanapathipillai claimed he was using the proceeds garnered from a third mortgage. Instead, the cash was seized and the investigation grew.

He was found to have multiple aliases, drivers licenses, and bank accounts, all of which covered a history of fraud and convictions spanning two decades. It is estimated based on transaction reports at banks and casinos connected to him that he may have had as much as $11 million in transactions. He also had a $182,000 deposit at Fallsview back in 2015.

More Suspicious Transactions

If anything, this is indicative that there is a trend of suspicious transactions. After numbers dropped from $334 million in suspicious transactions in 2019 to $116 million by 2021, the numbers have since shot up. With three new casinos opened in 2022, that figure rose to $372 million in suspicious transactions.

It is a sign that casinos are more actively logging suspicious buy-ins. These tools are used by law enforcement for investigations like these. It is also indicative of potential challenges when facing money laundering investigations tied to the casino industry.


While this is definitely a major bust in the prevention of fraudulent casino activity, it is just another in what will no doubt be a long line. How authorities and casinos respond to these situations going forward will no doubt bear scrutiny over time.

Noah has worked in the iGaming space for more than five years, first as a freelancer and now as part of Duluth Media. He’s experienced in all facets of the industry and has covered plenty of sports.

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