British Columbia casino gambling industry has been marred with allegations and cases of money laundering. Following a long-episode of inquiries and calls for tougher regulations, the government has approved an independent gambling regulatory authority in British Columbia.
BC Attorney General David Eby announced on Thursday that the government has green signaled an independent gambling regulator – Independent Gambling Control Office (IGCO).
The new body would be commissioned and tasked with the responsibility of monitoring the casino gambling industry in Canada’s biggest province.
The new Independent Gambling Control Office (IGCO) would be established by 2021. The new gambling authority will take over Gaming Policy & Enforcement Branch (GPEB).
GPEB has been drawing a lot of flak for being incompetent in its role, especially after allegations of money laundering being rampant at BC casinos surfaced.
What Will Change
With an independent gambling regulator in British Columbia, GPEB which was doing both formulating gaming rules and also advising BC on matters related to gaming, it will now no longer be in the advisory role.
For casino operators in the region, there may be stricter regulations coming. It is likely that the new regulatory body will come up with new measures to rein in the money laundering activities taking place at BC casinos.
Hopes are high as those demanding new and independent regulatory body wanted a more powerful body that would ensure compliance and be truly independent.
Recently, the country’s Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center (FINTRAC) also released an operational alert regarding the use of bank drafts at BC casinos by “money mules,” the industry term for those who, wittingly or unwittingly, transfers or transports proceeds of crime on behalf of a criminal organization or money launderer.
Fintrac has long been warning against rampant money-laundering at British Columbia casinos. It has also asked the authorities and casino operators to be vigilant of High-value transactions from clients.