Anti-money laundering review produces first set of recommendations

David Eby

THE Government of British Columbia has received two interim recommendations from Peter German’s ongoing, independent review of anti-money laundering policies and practices in the Lower Mainland gambling industry.

Attorney General David Eby has directed the BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) and government’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) to implement the recommendations as soon as possible.

First, gaming service providers (GSPs) must complete a Source of Funds Declaration for cash deposits or bearer bonds of $10,000 or more. At a minimum, the declaration must outline a customer’s identification and provide the source of their funds, including the financial institution and account from which the cash or bond was sourced. After two consecutive transactions, cash can only be accepted from the customer once it has been determined that it is not of a suspicious or illegal nature.

Second, government regulators must be seen on site at large, high-volume facilities on the Lower Mainland and available to the GSPs. Once staffing is in place, a GPEB investigator will be on-shift and available to high-volume casino operators in the Lower Mainland on a 24/7 basis. This presence will allow for an increased vigilance required in casinos. In particular, it will assist with issues surrounding source of funds, third-party cash drops, and other operational support for GSPs and BCLC.

“Our government has made clear the urgency around addressing issues of money-laundering at B.C. casinos, and we will ensure these first two recommendations are not only implemented as soon as possible, but enforced on the ground,” Eby said. “I thank Peter German for his work so far, and for keeping me informed as urgent matters arise, so that we can take immediate action to end criminal and suspicious activity in B.C. casinos.”

As part of his appointment, German will provide government with interim recommendations considered important to reducing or eliminating ongoing criminal or overtly suspicious activity, particularly involving large cash transactions. A final report will be delivered to government by March 31, 2018.