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British Columbia Lottery Corp. Overhauls The Rules
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation — the regulatory body charged gambling regulation creation and enforcement within the province — has released a new operational services agreement. The new agreement comes on the heels of a review that studied how changing industry trends have impacted the effectiveness of the old schema, which was implemented in 1997.
“The new operational services agreement sets the course for the long-term success of the industry in British Columbia by working with service providers to create and commit to an investment plan and hold service providers accountable for those plans and for maintaining the security and integrity of gambling,” said President and CEO of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Jim Lightbody in a statement.
Attorney General Investigation Guiding Light
The release of the new guidelines was more highly anticipated than usual. The reason for that is the recent 2-year, independent investigation ordered by British Columbia AG David Eby stemming from allegations that Chinese high-rollers were laundering significant sums of money through BC’s casinos.
The new agreement will introduce several measures designed to keep the province’s casinos from being a safe haven for the Chinese mafia. Most notable is the presence of additional compliance and security principles, including increased penalties.
Tax Increases As Well
Of course, there couldn’t be an overhaul of government regulation without increased taxes. In addition to the increase in regulation, casinos will also now have to contend with paying higher taxes. Most notable is the 2.5% increase in tax (now 42.5% total) on regular-limit table games profit, as well as a 2.5% increase (now 77.5% total) on rake taken off the poker tables.
Bingo was the hardest hit, with taxes increasing to 90% on weekly revenues up to $10,000, and 45% for all revenues above that threshold.
To try and offset these increased taxes and regulatory burdens, casinos will now be able to get a 5% facility investment commission.