Crackdown on large cash transactions at casinos could cost province, says report

A provincial crackdown on large cash transactions in casinos could lead to a significant cut in revenue for the province, according to an independent report.

B.C. casinos could lose up to $87 million a year, according to report

In January, the BCLC implemented an interim recommendation that required casino customers to fill out paperwork declaring the source of any cash deposits over $10,000. (The Associated Press)

A provincial crackdown on large cash transactions in casinos could lead to a significant cut in revenue for the province, according to an independent report.

The report, which the province commissioned from HLT Advisory Inc. last year, estimates that banning cash transactions over $10,000 in B.C. gaming halls could translate to a decrease in revenue between $34.6 to $87.7 million dollars.

That, in turn, could translate into lost revenue ranging from $18.6 to $47.2 million for the B.C. government, through the B.C. Lottery Corporation (BCLC).

Attorney General David Eby said the report was commissioned so that lost revenue can be accounted for in the budget.

Charities not affected

"It's the height of hypocrisy to, on one hand, fund anti-gang policing programs, and on the other hand take money that is the proceeds of gang crime in casinos," Eby said.

"We want to ensure criminals and criminal activity and money laundering is not taking place is our casinos, and we understand there might be a cost to that.

"It's meant to be an estimate, and so we priced that into the budget for 2018, so that we wouldn't have any temptation not to take that action because it might cost money."

Eby said that charities dependent on proceeds from casinos will not be impacted.

He said he will be receiving a report at the end of the month on new regulations casinos will face to prevent money laundering.

In January, the BCLC implemented an interim recommendation that required casino customers to fill out paperwork declaring the source of any cash deposits over $10,000.

With files from Justin McElroy

Corrections

  • This story has been updated to correct the headline. A previous version contained incorrect information about the contents of the independent report.
    Mar 21, 2018 7:47 PM PT