The Alleged Money Laundering In The B.C. Casinos

Written By Janice Doughtrey

The gambling regulator of the B.C. province has been given the power to directly impose fines and take away the operating licenses of the casinos. The object is to stop the current laundering of money by organized crime.

This provides the government with the authority to maintain security and compliance through disciplinary measures. The Providence has a reputation for being lenient regarding crime, and the district has been dubbed the Vancouver model.

The allegations state the B.C casinos are involved in a large money laundering operation. The criminal alliance involves the Chinese banks, illegal drug networks and money laundering coming from Vancouver.

There has been no political desire to deal with the problem. The operation of the B.C. casinos is reliant on an operational agreement with the BCLC. Casinos are now only able to claim their commission of five percent if they maintain integrity and compliance.

If the casinos are deemed severely out of compliance according to the BCLC, their commission and license to operate can now be suspended. This has not yet transpired.

These tools are necessary, highly responsive and spoken in a language understood by the service providers. The moment their commission is threatened, their attention is gained. The way the existing system has been designed makes this type of penalty extremely rare. Enforcement does require the police, and the charge-approval process is time-consuming.

The current yearly revenue from the casinos is $1.3 billion. This will most likely be reduced by the planned crackdown. Despite the impact, the steps will have on the revenue from gambling, at this time there appears to be no other choice. The problem is the individuals allegedly involved in the money laundering are additionally gamblers.

The government does not believe this money is coming from selling illicit drugs, and strongly believes it is a result of the money laundering allegedly present in the casinos. Despite the cash made from gambling, there is a severe loss on the health side.

The recommendations of the RCMP’s former commissioner Peter German should be released on Tuesday. The final report will not be available until next spring. The concerns regarding the probability of the River Rock casino being involved with money laundering was what prompted the appointment of Peter German in October.

The casino gave a statement and declared they were more than willing to work with compliance and regulations within a culture of transparency and integrity. The opposition of the Progressive Conservatives is now a factor as their interest has been drawn by the issue. The supposition is this may cause serious repercussions.

A deal is currently being negotiated in Ontario to take control of the Greater Ontario casinos. The parties involved include Great Canadian Gaming along with a couple of business partners. This contract would be very lucrative for the participants because the revenue for the casinos was over $1 billion last year. The deal may have to be revisited but so far, the Liberals of the providence have refused to reopen the agreement.