It seems that British Columbia’s (BC) gaming regulator no longer trusts some of its workers to do their jobs.
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has seemingly had enough of the shenanigans at local casinos and has now decided to bring in a third party to make sure all the rules are being followed.
The body announced this week that it will bring in outside auditors to “undertake independent monitoring of BC’s three busiest casinos to support their compliance.”
It comes at a time when provincial casinos are under heavy scrutiny for allegedly allowing money laundering, as well as cash transactions well beyond allowable limits.
“It is essential that BCLC work together with our casino service providers to ensure that source of funds declarations completely and accurately record the necessary information as one means to help keep dirty money out of B.C. casinos,” declared BCLC CEO Jim Lightbody in a statement.
Eyes on the Ground Join the Eye in the Sky
The additional checks will be implemented at three casinos – The River Rock Rock Casino in the suburb of Richmond, the Grand Villa Casino in neighboring Burnaby, and the brand new Parq Casino in downtown Vancouver.
The extra set of eyes will focus on making sure that Casino Service Providers are properly documenting all cash transactions of $10,000 or more. That’s the financial threshold before a transaction must be reported to financial regulators.
In late August, reports surfaced that casino employees had shredded records of large cash transactions. In theory, that would allow a casino patron to make multiple transactions of over $10,000 in a single day, without it having to be reported.
That revelation came on the heels of a bombshell report called “Dirty Money,” which outlined how international criminal organizations had for years been using BC’s casinos launder their money.
Those findings have since sparked subsequent investigations, including a look at how that influx of money may have affected soaring real estate prices in Vancouver.
The extra enforcement won’t be limited to simply monitoring large transactions.
In addition to those strict new checks, regulators have also installed new procedures to ensure they know exactly where any large sums of money are coming from.
- Casino workers must gather a “source of funds declaration” for all transactions of $10,000 or more.
- The customer is required to provide information on the bank, branch, and account number associated with their buy-in.
- If the patron can’t provide the required information, or refuses to provide a signature on the declaration, the transaction must be declined, and the casino is required to notify gaming officials.
Prior to those rules being implemented, one Vancouver-area casino reportedly took in some $2.5 million in transactions over $10,000 between 2017 and 2017.
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