B.C. Lottery Corp. tackles money laundering at casinos
The B.C. Lottery Corp. is promising to beef up its procedures to help prevent money laundering in casinos, according to the province's solicitor general.
Last week, a CBC News investigation demonstrated how easy it was to launder money at the two casinos. Reporters were able to pump thousands of dollars into slot machines, cash out after playing only briefly and then receive casino cheques with few questions asked.
The investigation also revealed the BCLC was reporting only a fraction of the suspicious transactions to the Financial Transactions Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, or FINTRAC, the federal agency that tracks money laundering.
B.C. Solicitor General John van Dongen said Wednesday the BCLC has come up with a plan to address concerns raised by the CBC investigation. He said the board looked into what the CBC was able to do at casinos.
"They had reviewed six transactions done by the CBC. Four of them failed in terms of the policy. They acknowledge that was a failure of the policy," van Dongen said.
The BCLC also plans to review current policies and procedures around reporting suspicious financial transactions and the issuing of cheques at casinos.
Casino staff will receive better training so they can detect money laundering, van Dongen said. The failure of the BCLC to report suspicious transactions will also be addressed. He said the corporation will now pass on all reports collected in the last six years.
However, the province's NDP opposition is not impressed with the plan.
"The fact they're having to go back to 2002 and forward them [the reports] on clearly indicates they were caught with their pants down and are closing the barn door after the horse has left," said NDP gaming critic Mike Farnworth.
The government said this is just the first step in a series of new measures that will be brought in to clamp down on money laundering inside casinos.