“The Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (“GPEB”) Compliance Division compiled a document which identified approximately $13.5 million in $20 bills being accepted at [River Rocks Casino Resort] RRCR in Richmond during July, 2015.” From the Report.
The Government of B.C. has released a 2016 report commissioned to look at practices and the regulatory regime related to suspicious cash transactions at B.C. gaming facilities.
“On assuming responsibility for gambling in B.C. as part of my ministerial duties, I received a series of briefings that caused me to believe that our province could do more to combat money laundering at B.C. casinos,” said Attorney General David Eby.
“During these discussions, a publicly funded report that had been commissioned to review anti-money laundering policy and practices in B.C. was shared with me. This report makes a series of serious recommendations for reform, which should have been made public at the time the report was complete. I am making that report public today.”
In the coming weeks, the Attorney General will announce the appointment of an independent expert to review whether there is an unaddressed, or inadequately addressed, issue of money laundering in Lower Mainland casinos.
“Criminal activity and money laundering in our casinos and elsewhere in B.C. will not be tolerated,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. “These investigations take time because of the many moving pieces and players but JIGIT, which operates under the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, and GPEB have had good success so far and we fully expect that to continue.”
“We take our responsibility to manage gaming in our province very seriously and always welcome the opportunity to improve our practices,” said BCLC president and CEO Jim Lightbody. “We have zero tolerance for criminals who may attempt to target our business. If there is something more we can do to improve the anti-money laundering efforts in B.C., we’ll do it.”
“The problem of money laundering is complex, but a committed government can make a difference,” said Eby. “We are serious about doing everything we can to identify money laundering activities, and ensure policies are in place to prevent it from occurring in B.C. casinos. We will bring in the best experts available to assist us, and I am confident we will succeed, especially with the continued support of our partners BCLC, casino operators, the police, and the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch.”
- BCLC is responsible for conduct and management of gambling in B.C.
- GPEB is responsible for the overall integrity of gambling and horse racing in the province.
- MNP LLP were engaged by GPEB to conduct the review on Sept. 8, 2015 and delivered the report on July 26, 2016.
- In 1998, the Province added casino gambling to the responsibilities of the BC Lottery Corporation and made them responsible for the operation of the casino industry in B.C.
- In April 2016, GPEB worked with the Policing and Security Branch in the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and the RCMP to establish the Joint Illegal Gaming Investigation Team (JIGIT). JIGIT, a unit under CFSEU-BC, provides a co-ordinated enforcement approach from police and GPEB to combat illegal gambling and money laundering in B.C.
- GPEB has also established an intelligence unit to provide government with situational awareness of threats to the integrity of the gambling industry.
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