BCLC steps up monitoring of casinos; Suspicious Cash: Agreements open door to harsher punishment in wake of suspected money laundering

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November 24, 2017.  The Province  Author: Sam Cooper

As quoted from the article: The B.C. Lottery Corp. is being given more power to monitor casinos and hand out tougher punishments, says Attorney-General David Eby.

The mechanism will be a rewording of the agreement that the BCLC periodically signs with casinos to provide gambling facilities in B.C.

The move comes as an independent review continues into allegations of money laundering in B.C. casinos and as more criminal charges are expected out of the RCMP’s investigation of an alleged organized crime network that used VIP gamblers in B.C. casinos to buy chips with suspected drug cash.

The BCLC’s new terms of service will require casinos to submit annual business plans. Failing to adhere to these plans could result in penalties.

In an interview on Thursday, Eby said the agreements also allow the government to incorporate any recommendations from his appointed independent reviewer, Peter German. The government will be able to impose escalating punishments ranging from warnings to licence cancellations more quickly than in the past, Eby said.

Eby appointed German in September after an audit by MNP showed that approximately $13.5 million in $20 bills was accepted in Richmond’s River Rock Casino in July 2015. Police fear much of the cash was proceeds of crime.

Eby said B.C. casino operators have always had the authority to reject suspicious cash on the spot, and he has asked German to examine the circumstances under which casino staff have accepted suspicious transactions, and to make recommendations.

“It is critically important for me that if Mr. German or the police or the BCLC identify any problem with a service provider not following policy, we are able to act quickly and proportionately,” Eby said.