British Columbia Lottery Corporation is ready to shed more light on previous happenings involving the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada. A decade ago the lottery corporation was hit with a CA$700,000 fine but the reason for this penalty had been kept a secret until now. Provincial casinos were lacking adequate measures in seven high-risk areas ahead of the fine hit.
Money laundering is one of the topics of discussion associated with British Columbia, as its gaming industry has made it possible for millions of dollars to be laundered throughout the years. The brick-and-mortar facility in Richmond, for example, was among the preferred locations for washing dirty cash. Between 2009 and 2010, the casino venues lacked protection in seven areas.
Money Laundering Concerns
FINTRAC monitors the field for any suspicious activities taking place and it established that the British Columbia Lottery Corporation should be fined for the negligence encouraging these deficiencies. The audit that took place back then revealed that casino employees fail to demand verification of the individuals engaging in high roller activities on the premises of the casino venues.
In the past, River Rock Casino in Richmond has been associated with Asian players making their way in, accompanied by loan sharks and large quantities of money in cash. The origin of these large sums remained undisclosed during the in-person gaming happening on the premises of the casino. Instead of seeking more information regarding the high rollers making their way in and gambling, casino staff members were content with as little information as possible.
Casino management has listed some of the players spending copious amounts of cash as self-employed or business owners, depriving the authorities of much-needed information about the source of money being laundered through the casino venues in British Columbia. Money-laundering probes have shed more light on the activities, highlighting the duffel bags with bundles of CA$20 bills have been making their way into casino venues.
In addition to that information, FINTRAC’s audit also revealed that the British Columbia Lottery Corporation was unable to report large cash transactions in the most efficient manner. This includes transactions surpassing the CA$10,000 mark that should be reported to the FINTRAC. For about a decade, CBC News has been seeking answers regarding the reasons for the largest penalty ever when it comes to Crown gaming corporation.
The Crown corporation is issuing the documents regarding this penalty for violations of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act. B.C. Attorney General David Eby made it clear earlier this year that this release was long overdue and it should happen, as the people deserve to know the truth. Mike Larsen, president of the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, has also supported the issuing of documents.
Over the past few years, British Columbia Lottery Corporation has implemented many new measures striving to battle money laundering within the vulnerable areas of the province. Back in 2010, former BCLC president and CEO Michael Graydon, made it clear in a fax to FINTRAC that the fine should be dropped and the reasons for it should remain a secret.