Industry Reports

BCLC Saw Continuous Information Leak, Cullen Commission Hears

The Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia recently heard more on the subject of money laundering in casino locations within the province. Daryl Tottenham, heading British Columbia Lottery Corporation’s anti-money laundering programs, commented on previous actions of his former supervisor Ross Alderson who became a whistleblower aiming to protect the gambling field.

In-person gaming in British Columbia has been among the topics of wide discussion for years now, as Asian high rollers have always found the Richmond area attractive when it comes to their gambling activities. Casinos such as River Rock Casino have welcomed millions in cash buy-ins over the past two decades and the larger chunk of those came in duffel bags filled with CA$20 bills.

Cullen Commission

It could be recalled that the money-laundering battling efforts span all the way to 2012 when measures were first taken in this direction. A year later, the Crown corporation overseeing the gaming field made it clear that an anti-money-laundering unit will have to be introduced and have a positive impact on the gambling field before things get out of hand.

Mr. Alderson is the individual who introduced some of the more strict measures linked to money laundering concerns. For instance, casino locations insisted that casino patrons utilize casino accounts fueled by bank drafts when it comes to their gambling activities. Moreover, the venues were also conducting conversations with the patrons, if they end up bringing a suspicious amount of cash into the casino. Their refusal to participate in the interview ultimately resulted in their ban from the gambling hotspot.

The manager of this anti-money laundering unit had only a year and a half to achieve these changes, but these months took their toll on his mental well-being. Mr. Tottenham said this week that his former supervisor had too much on his plate and this was mentally exhausting him, as it became evident at the time.

Anti-Money Laundering Unit

Mr. Alderson filed his resignation at the end of 2017 but he had done a lot ahead of that. Mr. Tottenahm revealed that he learned in a private conversation that his supervisor had been exposing information regarding the ways in which the provincial gambling field was conducting its daily operation. He considered these practices wrong back then.

Moreover, he has stolen sensitive and confidential information from the Crown corporation’s database ahead of his resignation. Since then, the pieces of information have been recovered in their entirety. Mr. Tottenham said before the Cullen Commission that he considered these to be the expressions of a mental health issue Mr. Alderson was going through at the time. He was determined to see leading executives to the likes of Robert Kroeker, James Lightbody, and Brad Desmarais gone.

Mr. Alderson has not participated in the hearings before the Cullen Commission and he is not part of the group of officials speaking over the past few weeks. More revelations are projected to be made by the end of this week. November 15 is expected to see the first report the commission has been working on.