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Province responds to Delta mayor's casino concerns

The government has undertaken a thorough review of the provincial Gaming Control Act, says Mike Farnworth
casino gambling in delta bc
The Cullen Commission's final report is due later next month.

The B.C. government has addressed almost 80 per cent of the recommendations in a sweeping report on money laundering.

That’s according to Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, in a recent letter to Delta Mayor George Harvie.

Farnworth’s letter was in response to a letter penned by Harvie earlier this year which outlined several concerns and inquiring what measures will be in place by the time Delta’s new casino opens possibly later this year.

Farnworth said the remaining recommendations from Peter German's report, Dirty Money, will be addressed through legislative changes, which are anticipated to go forward this fall.

To support the changes, the provincial government has undertaken a thorough review of the provincial Gaming Control Act with the intent of clarifying and strengthening the role of the provincial gambling regulator and modernizing the act, explained Farnworth.

Proposed amendments to the act will transition the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch to the new

Independent Gambling Control Office, as well as transform how that office regulates gambling in B.C. by establishing a more flexible regulatory model that can adapt as advancing technology transforms the sector, he added.

Farnworth also noted that, additionally, the province intends to consider recommendations from the

Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, also known as the Cullen Commission, prior to making substantial legislative changes.

The Cullen Commission's final report is due May 20.

Farnworth also explained that the current Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch's Corporate Registration Unit registers gambling-related businesses and their senior executive personnel involved in the gambling industry in B.C. to ensure suitability and integrity.

Previously, B.C. Attorney General David Eby also responded to concerns raised by the City of Delta about money laundering in casinos as well as organized crime.

Eby noted the recommendations from the German report would help the government craft actions on the issue of money laundering and that his ministry received a commitment from the solicitor general for ongoing support of the Joint Illegal Gaming Investigations Team’s mandate.

Eby also noted they’ve updated the provincial civil forfeiture legislation to target and seize proceeds of crime.