Brad Desmarais, Vice-President of Casino and Community Gaming, as well as interim Vice-President of Legal Compliance and Security at British Columbia Lottery Corporation was unable to receive participant status in the provincial money-laundering probe. British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen made his decision clear at the beginning of this week.
He pointed out that the provincial lottery corporation is also part of the process. In this sense, British Columbia Lottery Corporation is already able to showcase its position and contribute to the money-laundering inquiry. Justice Cullen stated that Mr. Desmarais would not introduce a different perspective at this stage of the inquiry, meaning that he would not be standing in it.
Commissioner Cullen Issues Position
What should be pointed out is that Mr. Desmarais might play a part in the inquiry process at the end of the day, as a witness sharing a personal experience with cash washing, if there is such. Money laundering commissioner Cullen has the final word when it comes to the individuals making their way into the probe on a provincial level.
Over the last months of 2019, Mr. Cullen gave his nod to the application filed by British Columbia Lottery Corporation President James Lightbody. He is expected to be a significant help by giving a boost to the inquiry process. This week was an important one for the money-laundering probe, as Commissioner Cullen was expected to issue his official decision on the subject.
When all was said and done, Mr. Desmarais would be a witness with limited rights in this inquiry. Gaining a standing would have given him the right to draw witnesses and be of even greater help. The Senior official wanted to share his thoughts and make a step forward, as the long-anticipated inquiry might look into his daily operation and raise questions. The spring months of 2020 are eyed as the official beginning.
Inquiry Launches Soon
In the fall of 2019, British Columbia greenlighted public meetings on the subject, seeing members of the community offer their useful insights into local money laundering opportunities. Individuals part of several communities made their way into the meetings and shared their experience with criminal practices in their local casino locations.
Vancouver was the first stop that saw residents make presentations in front of the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering. Community members were able to share freely their personal experience with the commission of eight lawyers listening carefully to their words. As many as five cities in British Columbia saw public hearings, October 23, 2019, seeing the first one. Some of the companies that have already received approval are renowned in the Canadian gaming field.
Those are casino operators such as Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and Gateway Casinos and Entertainment, as well as the Canadian Gaming Association and the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union. Being participants in the official hearing would make it possible for them to bring forward more witnesses presenting evidence of wrongdoing and criminal activities in front of the commission. The information it would reveal would aim to change the way British Columbia’s gaming field fights money laundering.