Industry Reports

BCLC Investigators Received Bonuses from the Corporation amid Money-Laundering Scrutiny

According to certain records which CBC News managed to obtain, British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) paid its investigators and their managers financial bonuses partly based on profits during the time when alleged money-laundering transactions have been processed at the province’s casinos.

CBC News revealed that it obtained the documents under the province’s Freedom of Information Act. According to the records, a total amount of over half a million dollars was paid in bonuses to investigators and their managers, who have been engaged with the scrutiny over alleged illegal money-laundering practices at casinos, in the four-year period from 2010 to 2014. As it was made clear by the unveiled reports, the bonuses in question were awarded based on certain financial targets of the BCLC, and also individual performance.

As Casino Reports has already revealed, the independent review of the alleged illegal money-laundering practices in casinos in the province of British Columbia, which had been ordered by the BC Attorney General David Eby, was carried out by the former Royal Canadian Mounted Police deputy commissioner Peter German. According to information revealed in Mr. German’s report, the province’s casinos have been serving as “laundromats” in the unlawful money-laundering schemes as a result of which more than CA$100 million in dirty money had been washed.

Investigators’ and Their Managers’ Bonuses Ranged from 3.6% to 9.6%

In an interview with CBC News, one of the former senior directors of investigations at the BC Government’s branch which is engaged with gambling regulation, Joe Schalk, said that he never felt comfortable with this practice of the lottery corporation paying such bonuses to investigators for doing their jobs.

Now, the documents acquired by British Columbia’s Freedom of Information Act have shown that the bonuses received by BCLC investigators and their managers, who were entitled with the responsibilities of gathering and analyzing evidence in the money-laundering case, were in the range from 3.6% to 9.6% in the four-year period from 2010 and 2014. Most bonuses ranged between 6% and 8%.

According to records, investigators received base salaries from CA$61,000 to CA$84,000 on an annual basis, and the managers of security or of investigations were granted salaries in the range from CA$78,000 to CA$102,000, with bonuses coming as an extra to the aforementioned amounts.

The practice of these bonuses awards was brought to an end for all BCLC staff in April 2014, after a change in the province’s policy was made. Due to the changes, only managers and executive staff were able to participate in a so-called “holdback program”, in which a certain percentage of their salary is held back every year and only given to them in case that the BCLC manages to meet certain financial and individual objectives.

Still, the question marks related to the former bonuses received by the Corporation’s investigators and their managers remain, with some doubts for conflict of interest being raised. As Mr. Schalk has noted, it just does not seem right for investigators to receive bonuses for nothing more than simply doing their jobs.