HomeNews ❯ Victoria Refusing to Back Casinos Over Money Laundering Concerns

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Victoria Refusing to Back Casinos Over Money Laundering Concerns

Money laundering is the issue that won’t go away for British Columbia, and there is no hiding from the facts. This is a problem that needs to be addressed and sorted out, and there are a lot of things that can be done to improve the state of gambling in the province. But, it is clear that many people and establishments are still feeling the after effects of some of the money laundering revelations of this year.

In fact, just this month it was revealed that the government’s probe into money laundering has collapsed, and this has not going down well with the Canadian public. Criminal gangs using casinos across B.C. and other provinces to launder their money has tarnished the reputation of Canada’s gambling industry. And, it also seems that there are much more long-lasting ramifications as well.

It turns out the the Mayor of Victoria is no longer happy to be supporting the planned development of a casino in the city in the wake of money laundering problems. Mayor Lisa Helps was quoted as saying, “There’s too much information that has come out with regard to money laundering, trafficking in fentanyl and organized crime. I don’t think we need that in Victoria.” To be honest, it is hard to argue with her logic, despite the fact that this would signify a major blow for Victoria as a city.

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Back in 2015, the council in Victoria voted for the introduction of a downtown casino, with Crystal Garden being earmarked as a possible location. Submitting their proposal to the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, the city was prepared to ride the crest of the wave of financial gain that casinos and gambling can bring to cities. However, in light of recent developments, it seems as though the city officials are feeling a little more lukewarm with their support for building a casino in Victoria.

It does seem that problem gambling and money laundering have been closely linked as well. There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account, but, the more problem gambling there is, it seems possible that this could wind up increasing the issues of money laundering. Perhaps the recent revelations with Ontario MP Raj Grewal’s gambling addictions, and the obfuscation of his repayments, has been cause for concern among many seniors in Victoria.

Whatever the reasons, and we’re sure there are several, the Mayor has put forward a letter to retract the city’s interest in hosting a casino. This could well prove to be a financial blow for Victoria, and it remains to be seen how much potential damage this may do to the city’s finances. But, Helps certainly feels she is making the right choice here, and that this can have a big impact on the battle against money laundering.

It could well be the case that Victoria will want a seat at the table later down the line, if they can be assured that the right action will be taken to combat money laundering. Indeed, Victoria has requested more information on money laundering prevention in casinos, and perhaps this is to help them feel more comfortable with the idea of allowing a casino. Until the city is satisfied with the steps that are going to be taken, it seems unlikely that there will be a new casino development in Victoria.

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