General News

British Columbia Hires Third-Party Auditor to Reduce Shady Transactions

British Columbia

Sketchy transactions are causing problems for the provincial gambling monopoly of British Columbia, following which the authority has hired a third-party auditor to review their records for land-based casinos.

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) announced on Tuesday that it has partnered with a third-party auditor who will monitor transactions at three busiest casinos in the province independently. The auditor will be ensuring compliance at the three locations. It will be paid via the new source of funds requirements implemented in January for transactions worth over C$10k.

BCLC indicated that it completed initial monitoring of the three casinos’ compliance with the new rules and “determined the need for the additional third-party oversight.” The third-party monitoring will continue until BCLC determines that the casinos are fully compliant.

The casinos in question are River Rock Casino Resort in Vancouver, the one-year-old Parq Vancouver and the Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby. Of these, River Rock is under media scrutiny after reports of Chinese VIP gamblers launderings millions of dollars through British Columbian casinos became public in September 2017. The news was revealed immediately after the new provincial government took office.

River Rock is managed by Great Canadian Gaming Corp (GCG) under a contract with the BCLC under which the authority divests day-to-day management tasks of its casinos to different service providers. GCG maintains its commitment to following compliance rules even as the River Rock controversy looms over its head.

One area that remains very much in the grey, is the role of crypto in international money laundering and the gambling world.

Interestingly, the BCLC has committed to working with the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GBEP) which acts as the gambling regulator of the province. Both GPEB and BCLC are different departments of the government dedicated to ensuring compliance of different service providers with anti-money laundering rules.

A government report slammed British Columbia earlier this year for its compliance issues and recommended that the province appoints a truly independent gaming regulator that could fix its “dysfunctional” system. The report also suggests that the money laundering debacle around the BC casinos exists because “nobody said no.”

The previous Liberal government did not allow the task force designed to halt gang activity in the casinos of the province to expand its scope to investigate money laundering. Instead, they ended up disbanding the task force.