B.C. Attorney General calls for review on money laundering at casinos following report

Photo by Etienne Ansotte / Rex Features

B.C.’s Attorney General has released a report he says raises some serious questions about whether the BC Liberals properly tackled the issue of money laundering in casinos.

The report, prepared by MNP Llp., looked at the system in place for dealing with suspicious cash transactions and was completed in July of 2016.

“This report makes a series of serious recommendations for reform, which should have been made public at the time the report was complete,” said David Eby in a statement.

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Eby said he’s going to be appointing an independent expert to review whether the concerns about money laundering at casinos still exists and how the former government addressed the issue.

The report, which is not a full review, made a number of recommendations back then, including how casinos should refuse unsourced cash deposits over a certain amount.

It also said the BC Lottery Corporation should increase the number of investigators at River Rock casino.

“We are serious about doing everything we can to identify money laundering activities, and ensure policies are in place to prevent it from occurring in B.C. casinos,” said Eby.

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The government says they will be appointing an independent expert to review the issue of money laundering in Lower Mainland casinos.

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The report also shows the majority of the cash being presented at casinos was from players commonly referred to as “high roller Asian VIP clients.”

It also said the River Rock Casino in Richmond was known to have accepted single cash buy-ins in excess of half a million dollars. A document provided by the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) Compliance Division identified approximately $13.5-million in $20 bills that were being accepted in the casino in July 2015.

~With files from the Canadian Press

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