BCLC launches anti-money laundering tips portal

British Columbia tips portal launched after German report

THE British Columbia government has launched an online portal aimed at cracking down on money laundering and cleaning up the gambling industry.

Unlike at other regulatory bodies in the gambling industry, the digital reporting form will only be online until January 31, a seemingly short period to tackle such a big matter.

Titled The Money Laundering Tip Portal the website introduces the concept to its readers with scant detail. It was an initiative put forward by Dr Peter German after extensive research into money laundering and how dirty money can find its ways into other industries such as casinos, horse racing and real estate.

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“In June 2018, the Attorney General released the Peter German report on anti-money laundering in Lower Mainland casinos,” the website reads.

“The Attorney General has asked Peter German to conduct a second review following up on his initial findings.

“This tip portal is a secure way for British Columbians to share any information they believe may be relevant to Dr German’s review into whether there is evidence of money laundering in B.C. real estate, luxury car sales and horse racing.

“If Dr German identifies inadequately addressed issues of money laundering, he is to inquire into the nature, extent and history of these issues and deliver findings to government.”

Recently, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation investigated and ultimately concluded with the help of Dr German that they needed to bring in a third-party auditor to keep an eye on the casinos in the province. They realised many of the casinos’ book-keeping and compliance practices were flying in the face of the regulations and were leaving the government bodies embarrassed with cases of casino staff shredding documents and unsavoury practices emerging.

One of the biggest measures introduced by the BCLC to curb money laundering in recent times was forcing gamblers to fill in a source-of-funds document for any deposits worth more than CAD $10,000 in one day. There have been grave misgivings in the industry that this procedure has not been followed by casinos in the province.

What is needed to prove your source of funds?

Dr Peter German made an interim recommendation on December 5, 2017, that BC casinos have to gather detailed instructions on those players wishing to deposit more than $10,000 CAD at a casino.

The new demands were implemented on January 10, 2018, and mean any bank draft or certified cheques must be accompanied by the original dated receipt of the bank or place you received the funds from.

Theoretically this information is reviewed daily by the BCLC’s Anti-Money Laundering unit. The onus is then put back on the casino workers and they are made to declare that the information they record is accurate and they received the appropriate forms directly from the customer.

If the customer will not sign a source of funds document the casinos in BC must report the incident which will then be investigated by the AML.

What is the German Report?

In June of 2018 Peter German QC, who was in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for 31 years, released his report into money laundering in British Columbia. He was given unlimited scope to investigate and make recommendations for cleaning up several industries, including gambling.

The BCLC is under no obligations to implement the German Report but many of his recommendations have been enacted since June, while more, including things such as the online tips portal, are still being rolled out.

“Dr. German’s report provides an important road map for the multiple organisations involved in combating money laundering in British Columbia,” BCLC board chair Peter Kappel said.

“BCLC will work with government on recommendations contained within the report, and I am confident in the organisation’s steadfast commitment to be a part of the solution.”

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