In Canada, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation regulator has updated its operational services agreement concerning casinos and community gaming services following a thorough review that included discussions with industry partners and interested third parties.
The revision comes after September saw British Columbia Attorney General David Eby publish the findings of a two-year independent investigation into allegations that wealthy Chinese gamblers may have used some of the western province’s casinos to launder millions of dollars in illicit cash.
Jim Lightbody (pictured), President and Chief Executive Officer for the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, stated that the local gambling market had ‘evolved significantly’ since the regulator ratified the current operational services agreement in 1997 before also explaining that some of its existing arrangements were nevertheless due to expire within the next few years.
“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,” read a statement from Lightbody.
Regarding licensing particulars, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation explained that the revised 20-year operational services agreement will see it continue to be responsible for determining where casinos and community gaming centers could be located. It is to moreover maintain the job of overseeing contracts for the operation of these facilities by private-sector companies.
However, the regulator detailed that its new operational services agreement is now to require all operators to submit annual business reports that include capital and operating investment commitments. It declared that it intends to drive growth and new facilities by subsequently holding ‘service providers accountable for investment commitments and service standards’ while remaining committed to responsible gambling practices.
In addition, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation stated that the fresh operational services agreement includes enhanced compliance and security accountability measures embracing escalation mechanisms and progressive discipline procedures.
In exchange for agreeing to these changes, the regulator revealed that all casino and community gaming operators will now be able to earn a 5% facility investment commission tied to net win although this may be suspended for repeated failures to uphold agreed commitments.
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation declared that the new operational services agreement is to additionally maintain the 25% commission rate on all slot net win alongside the 40% tariff on high-limit table games. But, this percentage will rise by 2.5% to 42.5% on regular-limit table games while identically increasing to 77.5% for poker.
Finally, the British Columbian bingo sector is now to be subject to 90% commissions on the first CAD$10,000 ($7,833) of weekly revenues after any prizes are paid although this will drop for subsequent takings to a duty of 45%.