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Crack Down Affects BCLC Table Games

Mia Gardner | 23 Jul 2019

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation released its annual report showing an overall revenue increase of 3.5% on its 2017/18 performance. Although the British Columbian monopoly enjoyed growth in most of its divisions, table games took a tumble. It is believed that this is due to the new anti-money laundering drive implemented a few months ago.

2018/2019 Revenue Report

The BCLC’s privately managed land-based casinos contributed CA$1.9 billion with an increase in slot machine revenue of 2.6% contributing CA$1.4 billion. Table games however, dropped by a drastic 7.8%, contributing CA$454 million.

The fall in revenue contribution from the table games is believed to be a result of the stricter AML’s that have really affected Asian high rollers. These VIP players regularly attend the casinos carrying large amounts of cash of unknown origin. The stricter regulations mean that players must now declare and provide proof of the source of funds over CA$10000, monitoring the exchange of small bills, and reporting any large cash transactions. These measures have led to both fewer VIP guests and smaller amounts being played.

Scandal Strikes Again

Earlier in July, Robert Kroeker, the BCLC’s Chief Compliance Officer resigned with immediate effect. No reason was given for his resignation, however Kroeker was allegedly implicated in money laundering activities. These included instructing staff not to strictly implement the cash monitoring conditions and slow down the investigation of suspicious transactions.

Kroeker was Compliance Chief for the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation that oversees the management of River Rock Casino. The casino was the target of public outcry after it was implicated in money laundering schemes.

The BCLC has committed to opening a public inquiry into River Rock and the associated money laundering scandal, and the inquiry is set to start in fall.

The balance of the BCLC’s revenue was contributed by its online casino brand PlayNow.com, which reported revenue of CA$149.8 million, a CA$30 million increase on 2017/18. The organization credited PlayNow.com’s success to Evolution Gaming’s newly integrated live casino platform, as well as the larger slots portfolio available this year.

The BCLC has been operating in the gambling sector for 34 years bringing responsible fun to British Columbia. The organization is owned by the state with certain services contracted to private corporations. Profits are funnelled to the state coffers, where the funds are used to finance services and security for the greater community, but lately they have been hit by several scandals and are trying to recover.

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