Major changes are about to take place in British Columbia, as the provincial government wants to bolster the independency factor when it comes to gambling regulation and monitoring. The Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch would become the Independent Gambling Control Office with the help of an amendment to the existing Gaming Control Act of Canada.
The ultimate goal of this transition would be to minimize money laundering within the vulnerable areas of British Columbia. The local government wants to make a change and give the former enforcement branch bigger independence to operate and achieve its set goals. The new control office is projected to take care of the local gambling field, British Columbia’s horse racing industry, as well as the gambling addiction measures taken on a provincial level.
Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch No More
Money laundering Combating Money Laundering in B.C. Real Estate report showed that on a national level, some CA$46.7 billion was washed in 2018 solely. British Columbia ranked third following Alberta and Ontario with its CA$6.3 billion of dirty cash washed. Former RCMP Deputy Commissioner Peter German issued his report called Dirty Money in the summer of 2018 and ever since then work on minimizing the amount of criminal cash laundered has been happening.
Battling this criminal practice in the best way possible called for action of a larger scope to take place on a provincial level. British Columbia Attorney-General David Eby made it clear that the spring of 2021 would be a milestone moment for the province, as this is when the transition is projected to be completed. Years of changes have rendered the current Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch unable to perform its main task.
Upon its establishment, the branch was supposed to monitor closely British Columbia Lottery Corporation, as to prevent it from breaching the existing regulations and allow money laundering to take place. Its main goal up to this point has been taking care of the gaming regulation, as well as keeping a close eye on the local field.
Improved Monitoring Capacity
Dr. German highlighted the issue in his Dirty Money report, making it clear that there is a conflict of interest that should be eliminated in the foreseeable future if the province wants to optimize the field. It was also able to facilitate criminal activities involving Asian high rollers and loan sharks offering them the needed cash for gambling at British Columbia’s casino hotspots such as River Rock in Richmond.
The spring months of 2021 are projected to see the completed transition and much more streamlined operation of the new Independent Gambling Control Office. Attorney-General Eby stated that this decision is projected to have a positive impact on the local gambling field down the road eyeing a reliable gambling industry. The new office would keep operation as transparent as possible with annual reports to the legislative assembly.
Dr. German’s report issued various recommendations aiming to make the industry a safer one and this transition is simply a result of the report. British Columbia Lottery Corporation was able to amass some CA$1.4 billion over the course of fiscal 2018-2019, but the independent office is expected to be closely monitoring its every move. Mr. Eby was optimistic that this is the right move and British Columbia is on the path to success.