David Eby, the British Columbia Attorney General, announced that suspicious cash transactions have lowered since February. The deals he is talking about relating directly to casinos that were seeing allegedly illegal cash movements. It is not a surprise that March is showing fewer transactions, given Eby’s announcement about February. The statement that things are looking up was made during a House of Commons finance committee meeting.
BC gambling legislation changes are why Eby credits the reduction in suspicious transactions. With money laundering allegations made about several casinos, there was a need to change the gambling laws for British Columbia. Several of the acts were thought to happen at the River Rock Casino. It is a Richmond location. Investigations into the illegal activities are not concluded. There are three years or more documents that need to be examined to determine what was going on.
Some believe the documents are not at the casino or that proper records were not kept.
David Eby said the historical data shows about $15 million (USD) was suspicious activity. The records appeared in July 2015. In February, the numbers looked closer to $154,000 (USD). The DA looking into the business stated that not all of the cash transactions are likely to be money laundering. However, everything must be assessed.
Eby cautioned the investigation is just in the beginning stages, so there is a possibility a resolution will not occur or that other methods of illegal activity are occurring that is not as clear-cut as the earlier transactions. He does think the money that was being laundered has moved on to somewhere else.
Gambling Regulation Changes
Gambling regulation changes are already taking their toll on the market. The year is expected to show losses for the casinos. According to data, the BCLC believes a loss of around $67 million will occur, particularly in the high stakes games. It is due to a cap of $7,650 on the high roller clients. There are other caps in which a client who tries to gamble more than $7,600 in one visit will be subject to investigation. Particularly, if the amounts are played within a twenty-four hour period. The guidelines have already decreased high stakes play by 30 percent.
River Rock is said to show about $10 million in laundered money overall, but again these are just allegations.