Money laundering pays off for local cities.
It’s a harsh reality, but that’s the truth.
Casino revenues have steadily gone up in the past few years and, according to the recent probe into money laundering in casinos by Dr. Peter German, criminals washing their cash in our local gambling facilities is a big reason why.
The good news, I guess, is that cities get a big, wet slice of these revenues each year.
According to a report by the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch’s posted online, the graphic embedded in this blog post shows just how much money went to other B.C. municipalities over the last two years.
In Burnaby, the profits from the Grand Villa Casino spun off $10,876,457 to the city in 2016-17, and increased to a whopping $11,731,081 in 2017-2018.
In New Westminster, the Starlight Casino in Queensborough benefited the city to the tune of $6,381,048 in 2016-17, and increased to a $6,782,928 in 2017-2018.
That’s a nice chunk of change. Thanks to all of those blokes who brought in bags of bundled bricks of cash to the local casinos.
This revenue is used to fund all sorts of items for cities, such as community projects and programs. In Burnaby, some of the cash has been used to fund the city’s legal challenges of the Trans Mountain pipeline project. According to the city, it “paid an aggregate total amount of $1,122,997 in legal fees to address the various stages and challenges of the project since 2014.”
Now whether this river of cash is worth the money laundering and social impacts of problem gambling is debatable, but there are the numbers.
- With files from the Vancouver Courier's Mike Howell