The City of Delta is seeking more clarity and action from both provincial and federal governments on the impacts of money laundering and crime connected to the casino industry.
At its March 11 meeting in Ladner, civic politicians approved several staff recommendations that reiterate the need for senior governments to implement policies and regulations to resolve the issue of money laundering in casinos and to conduct a comprehensive review of cashless gaming systems.
Delta has requested that both the federal and provincial governments immediately undertake a joint review of cashless gaming systems in casinos in order to assess their effectiveness in preventing money laundering compared with current regulations in place.
Delta is also seeking an update from provincial attorney general David Eby on the 48 recommendations of the Peter German report Dirty Money and what measures are being taken to accelerate any recommendations not yet implemented.
Delta also wants to see further discussions at UBCM and FCM to generate more local government support and advocacy for senior governments to take stronger action to prevent money laundering in casinos.
Council also received a report Monday night from Delta police Chief Neil Dubord regarding crime and the proposed Delta casino, but are seeking further information from Dubord.
“With all due respect to our Chief, I think he missed the question that was posed. The question to be reported out was on money laundering and the implications of that,” said Coun. Lois Jackson. “I would like to see our Chief come back with a more though analysis of money laundering and the crime that is associated with that and as it relates to the German report.”
Mayor George Harvie told council that in the next few weeks a report will be coming from staff summarizing recent meetings that were held in Ottawa with respect to gaming and crime at a federal level.
“What we are trying to do here with this staff report and further reports is to try and get something from the federal government and provincial government to recognize the importance and the fact this is a subject [cashless casinos] that has been looked at by other countries and acted on and we should be doing the same,” said Harvie. “Our reflection back on our Ottawa trip was that this was the first time that senior politicians had heard of a cashless casino which was a surprise to all of us.”
Coun. Jeannie Kanakos said crime in casinos is not just a Delta issue, it is across the board in the Lower Mainland.
“There is an urgency and a frustration as well regarding the lack of action on the implementation of the German report,” said Kanakos. “It’s taken the form to some degree in asking for a public inquiry into dirty money in casinos. I turn to staff to ask what would be involved with asking for a public inquiry.”
City manager Sean McGill said if there is a public inquiry the provincial government would be responsible for outlining the process.
“I’m not going to put out a motion that Delta calls for a public inquiry at this point. I’d like to see if we can get response to our recommendations and go from there,” she added. “I thank you for these recommendations that we raise this at UBCM and FCM. Delta is not alone in these concerns regarding crime and money laundering.”