Former top Mountie to review gambling practices at River Rock

A former top Mountie and expert in international money laundering is set to pore over gambling practices at the River Rock Casino and Resort and other Lower Mainland casinos, according to Attorney General David Eby.

Lawyer and former deputy commissioner of the RCMP and Corrections Canada Peter German, who is currently president of the International Centre for Criminal Justice Reform at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, will conduct an independent assessment of British Columbia’s anti-money-laundering policies and practices in the gambling industry.

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German’s appointment quickly follows the release of a report by accounting firm MNP LLP that pokes holes in anti-money laundering regulations at B.C. Lottery Corporation (BCLC).  

“We’re going to make sure the gaming policies and procedures that protect the interests of British Columbians are in place and are being followed,” said Eby in a news release. “There are concerns about money laundering that have been growing for years — our government is taking action to deal with them quickly and thoroughly.”

Eby said casinos, including River Rock, as well as BCLC are on board with the review and any subsequent recommendations.

“As part of the review, German will meet with government’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch, the BC Lottery Corporation, the Joint Illegal Gaming Investigation Team within British Columbia’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, casino service providers, and employee organizations at any identified facilities, as well as with any other parties who may assist,” stated the government.

Meanwhile, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), whose federal government mandate is to facilitate the detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering and terrorist financing activities, announced it is “currently reviewing the (MNP) report, on which it was not consulted, to determine whether any action on its part is appropriate.”

It’s unclear what the impact of MNP not consulting FINTRAC is on the accounting firm’s report.

“FINTRAC cannot comment on its compliance enforcement actions related to any specific reporting entity,” stated a FINTRAC spokesperson.

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