Industry Reports

February 24 Greenlights Cullen Commission Money Laundering Public Inquiry

The Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering recently issued the official timeline for the upcoming months of public hearings. February 24 is about to see the official launch of this process, as individuals and companies with formal standing in the hearing are about to speak up. The Federal Court of Canada in Vancouver would see four days of conversation by some of the leaders in the regional and national gaming field.

Money laundering in British Columbia has been a topic of wide discussion over the past few years with allegations and information emerging on a regular basis. People of the province have demanded the launch of a public inquiry that would reveal more information on the subject, coming straight from the people well-acquainted with the field.

Money Laundering Inquiry

Dates of the public hearings have been officially released, the first one set for February 24. Last year the conversation on the subject highlighted that the beginning of 2020 should see the official start of this process. This week saw the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering set the dates in stone, giving enough time for preparation to the participants and companies.

Both individuals and corporations have been granted standing in the public hearing process, allowing them to share their experience, thoughts, as well as call witnesses for further conversation. With their help, British Columbia might see more information on money laundering practices in the past, as well as prevent them from happening in the future, by minimizing the damage they inflict on the provincial coffers.

February 24 is about to draw individuals to the Federal Court of Canada in Vancouver, for four days of hearings. Some of the gaming corporations that have received approval for participation in the inquiry would be British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, and Gateway Casinos and Entertainment. In addition to that, the Canadian Gaming Association and the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union would also participate.

May 25 Sees Second Phase

As for the individuals, British Columbia Lottery Corporation President James Lightbody is among the individuals that would also share their experience with the commission. Fred Pinnock, former Head of British Columbia’s Integrated Illegal Gambling Enforcement Team might also become part of the process once he is granted standing. Meanwhile, 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 did not receive participant status.

May 25 is about to see the beginning of the second phase of this process, lasting for five weeks. The commission taking care of this is going to dedicate the time for a detailed review of what allows money laundering to take place on a provincial level. Lax regulation has been mentioned in the past as an enabler of the criminal practice, as the United States Department of State pointed out in its 2019 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.

Former RCMP Deputy Commissioner Peter German’s report called Dirty Money was also a trigger for this inquiry action. The month of September is about to see the third phase of the public hearing, bringing more meetings. It could be recalled that mid-May 2019, B.C. Premier John Horgan announced that the government would implement the tool in order to learn more about the true scope of the issue.