British Columbia Casino Laws – Are They Strong Enough?

In Canada, each province sets their own rules for casinos but the federal government is the main branch of government that handles the rules for the monies that pass through each casino. Enforcement of these rules seems to be less regulated in British Columbia than any other province. In fact, when it comes to enforcement of rules, the province of British Columbia lags behind all other provinces.

British Columbia Solicitor-General Rich Coleman spoke on this subject after damning reports came to light from a CBC investigation. The Freedom of Information Act provided CBC with documents purporting to show major spikes in reporting of transactions at casinos that are deemed suspicious. In the Vancouver metro area alone there were over 90 reports of large transactions that were considered to be suspicious. In a three month period this represented an amount of over $8 million.

British Columbia does have a number of strong rules in force when it comes to cash transactions. Although when compared to other provinces in Canada, British Columbia is one province that is allowed to give verified winning players cash in the form of cheques. Unfortunately, stick rules mean nothing if not enforced.

Unlike Ontario, British Columbia has no police presence in their casinos. Casino operators simply file reports and suspicious reports are passed to police. It is suspected that money laundering is more prevalent in British Columbia because of this and because of the large amount of money that needs to be laundered due to the booming marijuana trade. RCMP Inspector Barry Baxter believed that this loophole must be closed in order to curb organized crime from using it to launder their money.

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