In the wake of recent allegations of money laundering at several BC casinos, drastic changes have been implemented in the gambling legislation, which have led to a considerable drop in cash transactions.
This was the statement made by British Columbia (BC) Attorney General David Eby during a meeting with the House of Commons finance committee, according the Vancouver Sun.
Eby reported that more than US$15 million in suspicious cash transactions was recorded in July 2015. That amount has dropped to approximately US$154,000 as of February this year.
River Rock Casino
Of all the casinos currently under investigation for suspected money laundering activity, the River Rock Casino is the biggest culprit. It was found that the Richmond based casino possibly laundered around US$10 million—either directly or indirectly—in small-denomination bills in July 2015. So far, the investigation has led to several casino officials being forcibly removed, with more facing dismissal or even prison once the investigation is concluded.
Bank Drafts Concerns
Eby cautioned that the decline in figures don’t necessarily indicate a resolution, but that perhaps different methods are being used to finance illegal gambling accounts – particularly bank drafts. His concern is echoed by the BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC), who have been aware of questionable banks drafts for some time and is presently looking into it.
Gambling Regulation Changes Spells Loss
The new measures that have been implemented to curb fraudulent gambling activity include placing caps on high-stake games and requiring written proof from a patron who wants to gamble US$7,600 or more in the same 24-hour period. The BCLC anticipates losing US$67 million per year as a result, as these measures have already shown a 30% attendance loss in high-stakes games.