Anti money laundering measures threaten BC casinos

An anti-money laundering expert said that the new measures being considered to stop illegality in BC could hurt the casino industry.

Canada.- Christine Duhaime, a lawyer from Vancouver and expert in anti-money laundering issues, said that the measures recommended to stop money laundering in British Columbia casinos could hurt the industry.

British Columbia received last week recommendations on how to work with anti money laundering in the province, and one of them wanted gaming providers to identify where the money comes from and it it’s illegal in nature for quantities of US$10k or more, local media reported. A second measure included government regulators on gambling facilities 24/7 at big venues across the Lower Mainland.

“The client is going to start to say ‘well I own a tech company’ let’s say in ‘Beijing.’ Okay, ‘what’s the name of that tech company? How many employees? Give us all documentation to prove that you do own a tech company and the $500,000 is actually your salary.’ You’re going to have to trace it back to some legitimate source. By the time you got all that and translated it, they’re out the door,” said Duhaime, and added that government needs to find a common ground so anti-money laundering laws don’t kill the casino industry.

“In Vancouver, part of the large revenue source is of course people from overseas who come to gamble large amounts of money. If suddenly you come to the high rollers and you start to want extra identity verification, ask extra questions about source of funds, there’s going to be a scare factor.”

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