The province of British Columbia will overhaul its gambling laws by 2021 and crack down on money-laundering in the casino sector.
British Columbia Overhauls Gambling Regulatory Body
In a bid to counter money laundering, the province of British Columbia will transfer power from the local gambling regulator, the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB), to a newly set-up watchdog, equipped to handle illicit activities related to financial transactions.
The new independent gambling control office, or IGCO for short, will have the sole objective to oversee any activities related to gambling and horse racing as well as enforce consumer protection standards known as responsible gambling.
The changes have been occasioned after concerns raised by Peter German, a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer, who had suspected illicit gambling activities taking place on the territory of British Columbia for a while.
More Transparency for Gambling in B.C.
Commenting on this development, Attorney General David Eby argued that the new body would have all the power it needs to properly oversee the gambling segment in British Columbia.
To improve upon the existing regulator framework, IGCO will be held publicly accountable with open legislative assembly every year. The public will be fully informed on an array of issues that the regulator intends to deal with.
The objective, Eby specified, is to achieve a full control over the industry, ensure consumer protection, and disrupt money laundering practices, already impacting the financial well-being of the province.
Canada will be overhauling the Gaming Control Act to catch it up to date and regulate online gambling, which has mostly been conducted offshore in the country. The IGCO should be set up by 2021 by which time the legal overhaul should have been finalized.
iLottery Full Speed Ahead in British Columbia
In October, Scientific Games (SG) signed a five-year extension agreement with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), with their partnership now running through 2024.
The BCLC will have access to exclusive SG products, including the OpenSports solution, which features a range of handy gaming options, such as scoreboards, and other personalized options.
Speaking on the occasion, BCLC’s Cameron Adams expressed his satisfaction to extend the existing relationship with Scientific Games and provide British Columbia residents with top-shelf options to bet.
Working on Local Regulation to Stop Money Laundering
Peter German’s report has led to a more considerate approach towards local gambling governance and specifically attempts to commit financial crimes. Following a closer look into the gaming business on a provincial level, the revenue in places like Parq Casino Vancouver suffered slight repercussions.
Ottawa and British Columbia have also been collaborating to trace the source of illicit funds. Meanwhile, Canada’s Finance Minister, Carole James, has said that money-laundering practices will be come down on hard.
Money laundering has been conducted through real estate deals for the most part. According to an analysis conducted by Maureen Maloney, a professor at Simon Fraser University, provinces such as Alberta laundered staggering amounts of cash, up to CA$10.2 billion.
With a broad support to combat money laundering in Canada, British Columbia’s reform is a much welcome move.