Industry Reports

BCLC Sees Resignations ahead of Possible Money-Laundering Probe, Public Inquiry this Fall

British Columbia is known for its casino industry and the lax regulations that have enabled money laundering to span over years on end. Locals have demanded public inquiry on the subject, seeking answers to hot questions, but this appears to cause changes to the British Columbia Lottery Corporation structure.

Vice-President of Corporate Compliance Robert Kroeker recently made his exit from BCLC. The money laundering issue is a multifaceted one, as it extends back for decades and allegedly it has been facilitated by the lax regulations and monitoring of the gambling field.

Reports on money laundering within the casino field have revealed copious amounts of cash have been washed via the casino locations across British Columbia, River Rock Casino in Richmond being only one of them.

Money Laundering Reaches Billions of Canadian Dollars

Mr. Kroeker has been previously mentioned as one of the factors that might have caused the situation to spiral out of control. His name appeared in relation to the relatively lax measures aiming to eliminate the laundering of dirty cash. British Columbia’s Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch overseeing the field neither confirmed nor denied probing the subject and looking into it.

With his leading position within the structure of the corporation, Mr. Kroeker was closely monitoring the field and had the main task to prevent money laundering from taking place. As it was revealed earlier this year, however, his decisions affected the level of security when it comes to money laundering. This “easing up” on the strict measures was discovered via documents that saw the light of day as a result of the freedom-of-information policy.

The information that reached B.C.’s Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch showcases how the lottery corporation overseeing the field might have been directed towards a not sufficiently strict approach to money laundering prevention. As a result of this, Asian high rollers became attracted to the casino venues across the province and they frequented them with their loan sharks guaranteeing a steady flow of CA$20 banknotes, supposedly dirty money.

Reports Prompt Public Inquiry

It could be recalled that October 2018 brought the news that Mr. Kroeker resigned from the position of chair of the Justice Institute of British Columbia’s Board of Governors. His action came only days after the regulatory group Integrity BC alleged a possible conflict of interest, as he was linked to British Columbia Lottery Corporation and Great Canadian Gaming.

Up until now, he remained on his position at BCLC. The month of May brought the news about a public inquiry launching in the foreseeable future. British Columbia’s Former Public Safety Minister Rich Coleman stated that he is ready to answer some of the questions related to money laundering policy. He wanted to prove he has no fault for the way things went down.

It could be recalled that the New Democratic Party government accused him of paving the way for increased money laundering in the province. In 2009, BCLC’s special force monitoring the field was dissolved under his supervision and for the following seven years, reports have shown increase money laundering activity.