Great Canadian Gaming Appoints New CEO Amid Scandal

Great Canadian Gaming Appoints New CEO Amid Scandal

After having found itself in an unforeseen controversy, Great Canadian Gaming announced their new Chief Compliance Officer, Sukvinder Singh, who started in his new role on Wednesday January 27,2021. Terence Doyle served as interim CEO for two days, following an unexpected scandal and the consequent resignation of the now-previous CEO Rod Baker.

Mr. Singh is not a new face for Great Canadian and has a great track record since joining the company in 2019 as Vice President of Compliance in Ontario. With the help of Mr. Doyle and John Russo, the Company’s General Counsel, Chief Privacy Officer, and Corporate Secretary, Singh was responsible for the company’s compliance plan. In February 2020, he was then promoted to Executive Vice President of Compliance.

Mr. Singh is not new to the industry in general as before moving to Great Canadian, he held a senior position at the Alcohol and Gambing Commission in Ontario. With his previous experience and shining example, Great Canadian will surely be on the right track to an even brighter future in the hands of Singh, who is now responsible for compliance, security, and surveillance operations of the company.

The appointment must have come as a bit of a surprise as the company found itself in public turmoil last week when it emerged that the now-former CEO Rod Baker and his wife Ekaterina Baker are being accused of breaking Yukon quarantine rules to jump the queue for the Covid-19 vaccine. The Bakers reportedly travelled from Vancouver to Whitehorse, Yukon, and then flew by private charter to Beaver Creek. Not only that, but they also posed as motel workers to get inoculated against coronavirus with Moderna vaccines at a mobile medical center. Baker has since given in his resignation, which was immediately accepted by the board of directors. However, the Canadian gambling giant insisted that the resignation had nothing to do with the scandal.

Read about casino closures from Great Canadian Gaming due to Covid-19

The couple failed to abide by the 14-day quarantine regulation and were arrested by the authorities after they asked for a ride to the airport. This raised the town’s suspicions as due its remote location, the locals almost never go to the airport. Asked about the incident, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller commented that the whole situation “maybe the dumbest thing I’ve seen in a long while”.

Yukon Community Services Minister John Streicker also expressed his disgust at the couple’s inconsiderate and irresponsible actions. In a statement, he said that Mr. and Mrs. Baker knowingly put fellow Canadians at risk. Rural communities like Yukon were given priority for Covid-19 vaccinations since they are more vulnerable due to their remote location. They are literally hours away from any hospital and lack the resources to deal with medical emergencies at any given time, let alone during a pandemic. Since the scandal, new Yukon residency requirements have been introduced in the region to avoid a repeat incident.

This is not the first time that Rod Baker has found himself mired in controversy. Back when the now-previous CEO of Great Canadian Gaming was head of the River Rock Casino and Resort, investigations regarding allegations of money laundering activities by organized crime gangs were opened, under the suspicions of these criminals using the casino to launder drug money with the help of some of the casino staff.

Regarding this incident, Mr and Mrs Baker were each fined CA$1,150 for failing to comply with the rules of the region. Furthermore, if found guilty of these allegations, they could each face up to 6 months in prison. Mr Baker left the company in the middle of a CA$2-million acquisition deal by hedge fund operators Apollo Global Management.

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