Drake blocked from Vancouver's Parq Casino, claims it was 'profiling'

Musician Drake says he was blocked from gambling at luxury resort Parq Vancouver's casino Friday night and is blaming "profiling" by the venue. Parq Vancouver says "we categorically stand against racism of any kind."

Venue says it stands against racism and operates in a complex, highly regulated environment

Drake is scheduled to play two shows at Rogers Arena this weekend. He said on Instagram he was blocked from gambling at Parq Vancouver. (Jonathan Short/The Associated Press)

Musician Drake said he was blocked from gambling at luxury resort Parq Vancouver's casino Friday night and is blaming "profiling" by the venue.

Parq Vancouver said it stands against racism and it's operating under new complicated gambling regulations.

In an Instagram post from the early hours of Saturday morning, Drake called Parq Vancouver 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."

Drake's representatives did not immediately return CBC's request for comment. 

Parq Vancouver is a resort with two luxury hotels and the only casino in Vancouver's downtown core. In a written statement, Parq Vancouver president Joe Brunini apologized for Drake's experience.

"We are operating in one of the most complex, highly regulated industries and are always looking to better our communication and customer service," Brunini said.

Complicated regulations

As of December 2017, B.C. casinos must provide a "source of funds declaration" when receiving $10,000 or more in cash deposits or bearer bonds as part of an effort to combat money laundering.

The government said such declarations must include the customer's identification, the source of their funds and information on their financial institution.

"We are constantly improving our communications process to ensure that these new regulations are better understood by all guests," Brunini said.

The profiling accusations have prompted a backlash on social media against the casino. Drake has more than 50 million followers on Instagram.

The I'm Upset rapper, who originally hails from Toronto, is scheduled to play two shows at Vancouver's Rogers Arena this weekend. 

With files by Maryse Zeidler

About the Author

Michelle Ghoussoub

@MichelleGhsoub

Michelle Ghoussoub is a journalist with CBC Vancouver. She previously reported in Lebanon and Chile.