BC Casinos said to be Rife with Laundering

27 May 2008

Following allegations that money laundering is a commonly ignored phenomenon in B.C. Lottery Corp. (BCLC) casinos, British Columbia's solicitor general John van Dongen has ordered BCLC's directors to address the problem.

Allegations of laundering began last week with a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News report. The report described how CBC News reporters had gone to two B.C. casinos and fed thousands of $20 bills into slot machines. They played only once or twice, then left with a check for the refund, which was then paid by the cashier staff. Their activities, which should have been reported as suspicious, seemed not to concern any of the casino staff.

Further allegations are raised by documents obtained by the CBC which list thousands of incidents of suspicious activities and large transactions in casinos. Criminal charges have risen from less than one percent of these documented incidents.

Van Mongen called an emergency meeting with BCLC's directors last week for an explanation of why suspected money laundering appears to be brushed aside.

"They (BCLC's directors) acknowledge that that performance by the casino operators was not acceptable and they indicated…their intention to step up audits and improve training because that was clearly an indication that does not meet the standards," van Dongen told CBC News.