VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – B.C.’s Attorney General says those with large wads of cash will have to start explaining where it came from, after learning a major casino operator in the Lower Mainland has lost money since last year’s crackdown on money laundering.
David Eby says he knew this would happen.
“That was expected to have an impact on revenues and not just operator revenues, but also provincial government revenues,” Eby says. “We budgeted a $30 million potential impact anticipating that these changes would reduce revenues. I think that’s why the previous government refused to take the action that was necessary.”
He’s responding to latest quarterly report from Great Canadian Gaming which shows VIP play at high stakes tables dropped 12 per cent compared to the same time last year, but overall revenues grew 35 per cent to more than $312 million.
Eby says most business operators who depend on large cash transactions support stronger regulations.
“Obviously, we don’t want service providers to be unduly impacted, but at the same time, we need to have an economy that does not rely on dirty cash,” he says. “We’ve been really clear that we want to get the dirty money out of casinos, but not just casinos, real estate, luxury cars and our economy period.”
Meanwhile, he’s offering no apologies, saying the message is pretty simple.
“To any casino service provider or business operator in B.C., government is not going to be changing policies related to bulk cash transactions. For those that currently are accepting bulk cash transactions, without asking questions about where the money came from and their business model is dependent on that, we will be closing the door or we’re coming. That is our commitment to British Columbians.”
Eby talked to NEWS 1130 Tuesday after releasing a new report which confirms some dirty money was used to buy luxury cars in B.C. is going back to criminals via tax rebates.