Canada Seeks to Revamp Regulation Model and Prepare for Expanded LicensingPublished December 22, 2019 by Lee R
British Columbia has announced legislation for a new iGaming regulatory body to oversee an adapted model.
Canada has taken substantive legislative steps towards regulation.
British Columbia authorities announced the transition of regulatory powers for gambling in Canada from from the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB) to a designated new body.
Legislative Policy Shift
Amendments to the province’s Gaming Control Act deign the Independent Gambling Control Office (IGCO) to focus on regulatory policy matters related to gambling, horse racing and responsible gambling programs.
New IGCO Procedures
The IGCO will be overseen by an appointed general manager for a fixed term, and submit annual public reports to the legislative assembly while independently managing its public communications.
Attorney General Speaks
Attorney General David Eby further explained that “the IGCO will have the mandate, authority and independence to ensure the overall integrity of gambling in British Columbia.”
Fighting Money Laundering
Eby explained that the new body is designed to “keep dirty money out of our province” and “disrupt money laundering, which has impacted British Columbians in so many ways.”
The Report that Started the Change
Money laundering concerns have become increasingly topical to Canadian citizenry as the result of a recent report by ex Royal Canadian Mounted Police member Peter German recommending regulatory gaming policy be categorically separated from revenue generation.
The GPEB sets and enforces regulatory gambling policy in Canada's current system while concurrently advising the government on business matters related to the sole licensed operator in the BC province: the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.
The Prevailing Impediment
The German report called this dual role a potential overlap that could create conflicts of interest as well as impede anti-money laundering measures. His recommendations have spurred British Columbia to transform its gambling regulation with a more flexible model designed to adapt as technology transforms the sector, as part of a greater project to modernize Canada's Gaming Control Act.
With legislation set for 2021 to bring the IGCO into force, Canada suddenly joins the ranks of the active liberalised regulation movement, becoming the North American leader on that front.