B.C’s Attorney General has tabled a shocking report into money laundering that has “left no casino untouched.”
“Thanks to Dr. German’s work, I can now say with absolute certainty, that criminal money laundering is taking place in B.C’s casinos. I can tell you that it is tied to the opioid crisis, that’s taken thousands of people from their families, its linked to the real estate market, and housing prices that have made life unaffordable for British Columbians.”
Dave Eby says, the report contains 48 recommendations, with 15 already being implemented and the government moving quickly on others.
Dr. Peter German, who authored the report, found the problem was known as far back as 2011 but ignored until it became a “perfect storm” in 2015.
“Unfortunately for many years, Lower Mainland casinos unwittingly served as laundromats for the proceeds of organized crime. This represented a collective system failure, which brought the gaming industry into disrepute in the eyes of many British Columbians.”
Eby says an “era of inaction is over.”
“His report shows that the failure to take action allowed money laundering to proliferate in B.C. casinos.”
German makes a number of recommendations including creating a new crown corporation to take on gaming enforcement and a new casino police unit.
German says crime groups are now shying away from casinos and the question is where are they laundering their money now. says crime groups are now shying away from casinos and the question is where are they laundering their money now.
“There are areas of our economy that are not regulated. Banks are regulated. Credit Unions are regulated. Casinos are regulated. But then you have other sectors of the economy that are simply not regulated federally. It is like whack-a-mole you deal with the casinos and where are people going? They could well be going to another sector of the economy.”
So he is also recommending the province expand money laundering investigations into business areas where cash is king like luxury cars, real estate, and even horse racing.
He says well over 100-million-dollars were laundered by organized crime in provincial casinos.
German is not done yet he has already begun what is being called ‘phase two’ of his money laundering investigation this time focused on the housing market.
You can read the casino money laundering report in full HERE
You can listen to the news conference in full below.