VANCOUVER, June 27, 2018 /CNW/ - The BC Gaming Industry Association (BCGIA) released the following statement in response to the release of independent reviewer Peter German's report on anti-money laundering policies and practices in the province's gaming industry:
"We thank Mr. German for his comprehensive review of the issues around money laundering. These are issues that, as his report recognizes, affect not only our industry, but also other industries such as banking and real estate. He has provided a thorough analysis and solid recommendations.
Obviously, this report is substantial and has many facets our members will want to review and consider in the coming days and weeks. That being said, we are confident this is an important first step to the next part of this critical conversation.
As Mr. German said in paragraph 9 of his report: "Casino gaming is…the source of employment for many thousands of British Columbians and a source of entertainment for hundreds of thousands of others…. [Casinos] are an integral part of the Province and a vital industry."
The report also shows BC's casinos are highly regulated and operate under rigorous reporting requirements. In fact, it was this rigorous reporting of suspicious activities by casino operators to regulators and police that shed light on money laundering in BC. As Mr. German's report stated in paragraph 8, "the actions of the gaming industry, has dramatically reduced the quantity of suspicious money entering casinos from its high point in 2015."
We have always taken seriously our responsibility to report any and all suspicious activities at our properties to BCLC and regulators. We will continue to play a key role in fighting any illegal activity going forward.
We also appreciate the discussion in this report regarding enforcement. We, as many British Columbians, see the need for a deeper connection between reporting of alleged AML offences and enforcement.
Attorney General David Eby should be commended for taking a hard look at how regulators, law enforcement, and businesses are equipped to address money laundering. We share the Attorney General's commitment to ensure the integrity of the gaming industry in the province.
We believe Mr. German's recommendations will enhance BC's regulatory framework and have a positive effect on our communities and customers. These are sensible measures that should help our collective effort to prevent money laundering in casinos, and to assist in prosecuting those who attempt to do so. We look forward to working with government to implement the recommendations as efficiently as possible and confirm our support for ongoing efforts to ensure BC's casinos remain a safe and fun place to enjoy entertainment."
ABOUT THE BC GAMING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION:
The BC Gaming Industry Association (BCGIA) represents 13 of 16 private sector gaming operators that manage 38 gaming properties and generated over $1.8 billion in gaming revenue for the BC Lottery Corporation in 2016/17. BCGIA members manage casinos, community gaming centres, bingo centres and horseracing, as well as non-gaming amenities such as food and beverage facilities, show theatres, conference centres and hotels. For more information about the BC Gaming Industry Association, please visit our website: bcgia.com
SOURCE BC Gaming Industry Association
For further information: Peter Goudron, executive director, BC Gaming Industry Association, [email protected], (778) 953-5703