Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Explain BC Liberals addiction to gambling? Simple - follow the money! And the lobbyists!

Why BC Liberals love gambling
- Jeff Kubina photo

Watch the big money -- and the big players.

Bill Tieleman's 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday July 27, 2010

By Bill Tieleman

"A B.C. Liberal government will stop the expansion of gambling that has increased gambling addiction and put new strains on families."

- B.C. Liberals New Era promise, 2001

Hope you didn't bet on that one!

But why has the B.C. Liberal Party done a complete 180-degree turn from strongly fighting gambling when in opposition to presiding over a massive expansion of gaming?

Why did the B.C. Lottery Corporation introduce its PlayNow.com addictive online gambling site -- which immediately crashed -- in the same week we learn it was fined $670,000 by federal financial regulators for 1,020 violations of the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act on casino transactions over $10,000?

And why won't minister responsible Rich Coleman fire Michael Graydon, the $383,000 a year CEO of the B.C. Lottery Corporation?

Simple -- follow the money. And the lobbyists.

This government has a gambling addiction second to none -- it cannot stay away from the blackjack tables and slot machines because it desperately needs the money just to pay off its bad debts -- B.C.'s massive $1.8 billion deficit.

Preach abstinence, bet the house?

When it comes to gambling, Premier Gordon Campbell neither knows his limit nor plays within it -- he needs to apply for "problem gambler" status so he'll be banned at the casino doors.

Campbell preached like an evangelical revival-tent pastor against gambling when the New Democratic Party was in office -- praying for an end to this scourge on humanity.

But once in power, Campbell became a sinner, expanding all forms of gambling in order to increase net government revenue by 265 per cent -- from $414 million in 2001 to more than $1.1 billion today.

Meanwhile, who is the top lobbyist for Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, the large gambling company that runs several B.C. casinos and horseracing tracks as well as other operations across the country?

Who is the lobbyist with an undertaking from Great Canadian that started in August 2005 and continues through until April 2013?

Why it's Patrick Kinsella, the B.C. Liberal Party's former election campaign chair and co-chair in the 2001 and 2005 provincial votes, the most influential backroom guy in the business and a man who has donated more than $77,000 either through his Progressive Holdings or Progressive Strategies businesses to the party since 2005.

Casino makes things 'cosier'

Kinsella -- also a well-known horse owner with entries running at Hastings Racecourse nearly every weekend -- summarizes his business on the B.C. Lobbyists registry as: "Casino operations in partnership with B.C. Lotteries Corporation."

Just to keep things even cosier with the provincial government, who did Great Canadian hire in May to become senior vice-president of operations?

Why Vic Poleschuk -- the former CEO of the B.C. Lottery Corporation, who was terminated with $603,000 severance after a report from B.C. Ombudsman Kim Carter found a "lack of scrutiny for the 99 per cent of the winning [lottery] tickets and 80 per cent of the prize money paid out for wins under $10,000."

And who did Public Eye Online discover was scheduled to meet Poleschuck repeatedly in 2006 and 2007? Yes, lobbyist Patrick Kinsella.

'Whacked' by money-laundering guardian

The only bad bet the B.C. Liberals made was to wager against the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, the federal regulator that guards against money laundering.

And the B.C. Lottery Corporation lost badly. It was fined $670,000 for violating the reporting rules 1,020 times -- but kept it secret until CKNW's Brett Mineer got the scoop.

It turns out the B.C. Lottery Corporation was also the only provincial gambling authority to be whacked by FINTRAC.

While Graydon calls them "administrative" breaches, FINTRAC wasn't impressed.

FINTRAC says 20 per cent of all money-laundering and terrorist-financing cases in Canada in 2008-2009 involved casinos, where criminals and bad guys pay cash to buy chips and then cash in for a legitimate casino cheque after minimal play.

You can see just how seriously the B.C. Lottery Corporation felt about the need to prevent money laundering here -- because last year it increased the maximum weekly online gambling limit from $120 to a massive $9,999 -- just one dollar short of FINTRAC's reportable minimum $10,000.

PlayNow adds to losing streak

Then there's the PlayNow.com fiasco -- the new online gambling site B.C. Lottery Corporation aimed at making $100 million a year from that crashed shortly after it was launched.

The B.C. Lottery Corporation initially claimed it was overloaded with so many happy gamblers that the system couldn't handle it -- but five full days later the truth came out.

PlayNow.com suffered 134 "data crossovers" that meant players could see other players' personal financial data online -- and even make bets with their money.

All in all, a disastrous record for the luckless B.C. Liberals.

And let's be clear -- I'm not opposed to gambling.

I've even bet and won money placing wagers on Kinsella's own horses at Hastings Racecourse, while subsidizing government revenues through buying lottery tickets.

But I am opposed to rank hypocrisy and gross incompetence, something that is always a sure bet with this government.

.



31 comments:

Anonymous said...

goes back even further ... and another, who flew Gordon Campbell around in the election he lost to Glen Clark ...in the mid nineties that would be Great Canadian Casino, way back when they had just two locations a small one in Richmond and one in Nanaimo. Jaci Schaeffer and other casino staff were released and not reported. John Van dongan also had casino staff working his campaign. hmmmmm

Anonymous said...

1st off - THANK YOU for naming CKNW's Brett Mineer on the scoop. Too often I've seen good journalistic digging get 'poached' without credit given for the hard work that goes into getting a story right and getting it first.

--

Great Canadian Gaming has its own fascinating history (including their Alberta connections) - don't forget the roots of Lake City Casinos' founders.

Anonymous said...

Bit of hypocrisy here. Bill is not opposed to gambling but rails against BC Loto Play Now. It is addictive, yes, and the BC Liberals are hypocrites, big time.

But let's not get too hypocritical here since gambling in this day and age includes online gambling otherwise those dollars go to whomever runs the Poker Play website that "originates" in the Cayman Islands.

The NDP would have brought in something similar to Play Now. No question.

The NDP was freebasing on casinos and will do so again. Wait for it
in a policy book.

You won't see the dismantling of BCLC as it exists now under an NDP government.

PLay Now will not disappear once the NDP becomes government.

In fact it might even be expected to allow the First Nations to get in on the action courtesy of the NDP.

Heck remember with 6/49 was originally had its revenues intended for local amateur sports programs?

The only program now is Patrick Kinsella lining his pockets.

and the NDP equivalent to Patrick Kinsella will be lining his once the NDP returns to power.

BC Liberals, NDP. Same table, different colour.

Anonymous said...

You're right on Bill - follow the money and the lobbyists.

There's the insider trading around the development beside BC Place - the ex-CEO of BC Lotteries, now CEO of ICBC, who is also a director of the casino to be housed there, lobbying for a deal...as reported by Sean Holman of Public Eye Online.

And interesting that Patrick Kinsella is also reported to be involved in the scandal of the sale of BC Rail.

I remember someone saying once that "politics in BC was entertainment" - the gambling industry has replaced arts & culture in BC.

Using a metaphor - the threads of corruption are woven into the fabric of our provincial Liberal government. Thanks for your ongoing efforts to reveal this unethical group of gangsters for who they are!

Anonymous said...

Mifht be time now for us in the NDP to start making real policies that will sell to the voters.

The NDP has a chance to sell to the public as to what it will do when we return to government.

How about it Bill, are you going to get in on it, or continue constantly complaining?

Complaining about Kinsella and Campbekk is worth something, but after awhile it gets a bit wearing thin.

Except of course to those who constanly like to read complaining and add to it.

Alot easier to just point and say they are wrong, than it is to do much better and say "this is what we can do better".

Obviously we see the problem. Let's now work on solutions.

Recall in the fall? Might work, but let's look beyond 2011 to the the next election.

Anonymous said...

So what good does this exposure do? The mainstream newspapers don't seem to want to pick up on it. It isn't front page news for them. Nothing like Glen Clark's deck. Now that was news! What about the raids on the Parliament buildings? The newspapers sure left that alone.

What's the NDP going to do to expose this? Nothing! Because then they would be the hypocrites when they got into power and continued to increase gambling.

full disclosure said...

I see the BC Boy is still up to his usual tricks - no longer welcome at Tyee, he's dragging dead animals to your site now Bill

Anonymous said...

"I see the BC Boy is still up to his usual tricks - no longer welcome at Tyee, he's dragging dead animals to your site now Bill"


Someone is hallucinating once again over nothing.

Forget that asshole BC Boy and get busy helping us within the NDP.

Reading and whining within Bill's blog about a fictional person isn't going to help get Carole into the Premier's Office.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess when Campbell, put this province in the billions of debt. He would steal your eyes, and then come back for the sockets. He is, in a barrel full of trouble. He is selling his soul for money, gambling on line, casino's, selling BC out to China and the USA. He will do what ever it takes to get money, fair or foul. People thinking, he will resign, not on your nelly. He is desperate to get money, to try and pay the debt down, before he is found out and lynched.

Anonymous said...

B.C. government cancels HST mail campaign, saying reaction to tax better than expected

by Rob Shaw, Times Colonist

Finance Minister Colin Hansen said he pulled the plug on the HST mailer yesterday during a Liberal caucus meeting in Vancouver.

“I think the roll out of the HST has been smoother than we had anticipated,” said Hansen.

“There were lots of people that felt the mailer was not necessary and others that said they did not want to receive it. There was a sense that sending out the mailer could in fact exacerbate some of the concerns that are out there.”

Anonymous said...

What a sad state of affairs BC has become under this rudderless ship under Captain Campbell.

Anonymous said...

Yes, on the matter of gambling (a.k.a. a tax on the poor) an NDP government would be quite conflicted. The NDP wants to help the poor but it also loves to tax. I suspect that its proclivity to tax would win out.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing about the ndp being the worst of the two parties because you will just get taxed more... can someone out there please publish a list of all the fee hikes tax grabs we have had in 9 dismal years, my bc med alone has gone up 68% since these crooks came into power Ive had one wage increase of 2% in 2006
I wont even start on my hydro or the damn ferry fares or list off what we DONT have any more for those of us making under 40 grand year the impact has been staggering and yesterdays announcement of "we all love the hst so no need to provide information""... and that wasnt even the headline story in the sun, fire works and white caps... were the headline grabbers and that killer in another country... bloody god awful news reporting
I always check this and a handful of other blogs to find the real new thanks Bill for the great artical I.m so angry.. yeah a far cry from the days of glens sundeck

Anonymous said...

"Yes, on the matter of gambling (a.k.a. a tax on the poor) an NDP government would be quite conflicted. The NDP wants to help the poor but it also loves to tax. I suspect that its proclivity to tax would win out."

THis statement "tax on the poor" is laughable. It is not compulsory for low income people to gamble, and there are many well off people than lower income people that take a spin at the roulette wheel or play cards in the casino.

and the fool who made mention of Campbell getting lymched. Let's just vote him out and foret this lunch nonsense shall we?

kootcoot said...

Hypocrisy is almost the topic here, Bill mentions it, Anono the Weirdo calls Bill a hyporcrite and so it goes. Maybe some folks (not you Bill) don't know exactly what that word means, except that it has a negative connotation.

Well I am putting together a proposal for publishers - I intend to write a brief guidebook/text/manual The Illustrated Guide to Hypocrisy - (or The Campbell Regime in Pictures)

This is just a rough draft/sketch and by no means a chapter by chapter outline but we could explore hypocrisy by examining

1. Gordo's theft of the Liberal Party of BC NAME from the other Gordon over "Family Values!"

2. A little moral tale about little Kevie Kreuger and "families being destroyed" illustrated by a picture of him on his cell phone (while driving) taking orders from the Casino operators about the kind of roof THEY required on BC Place

3. Pat Bell crowing about the wonders that the BC Liberals have done for forestry in BC - it is pretty extraordinary to kill off that industry in the midst of the biggest building boom/bubble in US History

4. The financial wizardry of the BC Rail deal (that was promised not to happen) illustrated by an apparently impossible to find picture of the oversize ONE BILLION dollar cheque

5. Your former colleague AGT commending MLA Kootenay East for his graciousness - the same graciousness and outright rascism that keeps getting his cabinet position re-adjusted or eliminated.

6. Gordon Campbell as the "greenest" premier/governor in the universe overseeing the mega expansion of fish farms, pushing the Enbridge Pipeline Project, pushing gas exploration in the Peace (to support agriculture, I presume) and putting down more pavement than Flyin' Phil on his best day, as long as it is put where the rich Liberal supporters need it (or is on a bridge where supporters in the valley can pay through the nose to get to and from work)- ramming Ruin of the River projects down locals' throats thanx to Bill 30!

7. Having the Strictest anti drinking and driving laws in North America in a Jurisdiction where our own great leader goes to a jurisdiction where it is a misdeameanor to do HIS drinking and driving.

I could go on till sometime tomorrow, but I'm sure you get the drift and there is life beyond the intertooobz.

Anonymous said...

"I always check this and a handful of other blogs to find the real new thanks Bill for the great artical I.m so angry"

Bill and other blogs present carefully edited stories and one sided opinions. Have yet to see Bill comment about what the NDP party is doing.

If the previous poster is angry, then join us in the NDP. Whining and complaining to a blog that is a hobby for someone isn't going to do much.

full disclosure said...

I see the BC Boy is increasingly up to his usual tricks and spouting disinformation - no longer welcome at Tyee, he's dragging dead animals to your site now Bill

Paul said...

- Gordon Campbell: "I want to build an economy based on winners, not losers, and gambling is always based on losers. The only way government makes money on gambling is because you lose it." (Vancouver Sun, June 2, 1999)

- Solicitor General John Les: "There will be no Internet gaming conducted by the B.C. Lottery Corp. - period ... We are not going to entertain Internet gaming."
(Hansard, Feb. 21, 2007)

- Kevin Krueger: "Women in British Columbia will die because of gambling expansion; that's the prediction of our experts at UBC."

"Some 37 percent of the spouses of pathological gamblers abuse their children."

"So children may die as a result of gambling expansion, and their blood will be on the heads of the government that expanded gambling and of the MLAs who voted for it."

"This is a serious, serious issue."
(Hansard, June 12, 1997)

- Rich Coleman (2003): "The highest incidence of problem gambling is in things like Internet gaming -- and those are the things we fight to stamp out.

- Rich Coleman (2010): "[If] those folks are going to gamble online, we'd prefer that they did it as clients of B.C."

Anonymous said...

"I see the BC Boy is still up to his usual tricks - no longer welcome at Tyee, he's dragging dead animals to your site now Bill

11:47 AM PDT"


"I see the BC Boy is increasingly up to his usual tricks and spouting disinformation - no longer welcome at Tyee, he's dragging dead animals to your site now Bill

4:53 PM PDT"


Somone obviously has an obession with a fictional person that obviously hasn't written aynthing here Bill.

Seems this poster is dragging in
his own halluncinations.

He should divert his energies to working for us in the NDP.

DPL said...

The Thursday evening news had Coleman doing his thing. won't restart the on line system until it is working correctly, maybe in a week.

full disclosure said...

The BC Boy won't be working for the NDP AND, he shouldn't be putting forward ANYTHING about obsessions.

I'm just glad he's been banned from the Tyee - haven't missed his cut and paste BS one bit.

Anonymous said...

The BC Boy won't be working for the NDP AND, he shouldn't be putting forward ANYTHING about obsessions.

Don't know and don't care about this BC Boy but I have certainly worked within the NDP. Knew Ole Johnson (son of Ron Johnson). Parents knew Dave Barrett too.

What about the poster with the halluncinations, has he worked within the NDP or will he?

I'm just glad he's been banned from the Tyee - haven't missed his cut and paste BS one bit.

Wouldn't worry about it. The Tyee isn't as good as it used to be with stories that mean anything. Now it's 95% environmental B.S.

Hsv yet to see any story from the Tyee that broke news.

But Will McMartin is good. SO is Bil but you can read him in 24 Hours while on Glen Clark's Skytrain (M-Line)

GWest and a few others that continually whine within the Tyee are mostly BS as much as BC Boy is or was.

Best thing is to forget about who actually posts and get busy to start working the volunteer circuit within the NDP.

Anonymous said...

"The BC Boy won't be working for the NDP AND, he shouldn't be putting forward ANYTHING about obsessions."

This so-called "full disclsoure" is BSing once again, and worryng too much about a fictional person.

Should get out there and enjoy the long weekend and stop being so miserable.

It's a long road to our victory in 2013 for the NDP, Bill

Not everyone who is left wing agrees with everyone who is left wing.

How about a plug to get your readers active in the NDP? They sure complain alot and should have a better outlet for their frustrations and what better one is there than our NDP?

full disclosure said...

"Fictional" Is RIGHT!

I'm not the least bit worried about your fictional 'character' Boy - I just want to make sure everyone here knows that fictional characters write fiction. And most of what you write is not just 'fiction' it's very BAD Fiction - comic book stuff in fact.

Anonymous said...

I'm not the least bit worried about your fictional 'character' Boy - I just want to make sure everyone here knows that fictional characters write fiction. And most of what you write is not just 'fiction' it's very BAD Fiction - comic book stuff in fact."

Guess this fictional full discloure knows about comic books.

Seems to read alot of them. Shows in his wrting.

He says he isn't worried but gets into repeating his worres anyway.

I haven't seen anything from either this annonymous who full disclosure says is this fictional BC Boy or from full disclosure that had any actual political fact that is actually truth.

he should remember that not everyone who is left wing will think the same way as full disclosure does.

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of the neocon rhetoric.

Anyone that posts anything critical of the neocon agenda is a "whiner" anyone that protests is virtually a "terrorist".

Bill, if your going to post these paid wieners could you please at least edit the whiner spammers? Isn't one per post enough?

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of the neocon rhetoric.

"Anyone that posts anything critical of the neocon agenda is a "whiner" anyone that protests is virtually a "terrorist".

Bill, if your going to post these paid wieners could you please at least edit the whiner spammers? Isn't one per post enough?"

Agree there. Some of the left wingers are also getting to be whiner spammers.

Would like to see discussion on solutions rather than perpetual finger pointing and whining.

Where's Mike Harcourt and Farnworth when you need them?

Anonymous said...

In an article you supplied a link to BC's new gambling site.
I followed that link and the following appeared:



This is probably not the site you are looking for!
You attempted to reach bclc.com, but instead you actually reached a server identifying itself as www.bclc.com. This may be caused by a misconfiguration on the server or by something more serious. An attacker on your network could be trying to get you to visit a fake (and potentially harmful) version of bclc.com. You should not proceed.

Help me understand
When you connect to a secure website, the server hosting that site presents your browser with something called a "certificate" to verify its identity. This certificate contains identity information, such as the address of the website, which is verified by a third party that your computer trusts. By checking that the address in the certificate matches the address of the website, it is possible to verify that you are securely communicating with the website you intended, and not a third party (such as an attacker on your network).

In this case, the address listed in the certificate does not match the address of the website your browser tried to go to. One possible reason for this is that your communications are being intercepted by an attacker who is presenting a certificate for a different website, which would cause a mismatch. Another possible reason is that the server is set up to return the same certificate for multiple websites, including the one you are attempting to visit, even though that certificate is not valid for all of those websites. Google Chrome can say for sure that you reached www.bclc.com, but cannot verify that that is the same site as bclc.com which you intended to reach. If you proceed, Chrome will not check for any further name mismatches. In general, it is best not to proceed past this point.
******
Has this site been compromised?

Bill Tieleman said...

Thanks Anon 11:16 a.m. There is a secure site entry for PlayNow.com at:

https://www.playnow.com/playnow?tab=Casino

but you are right that Explorer gives a warning to the regular website URL I gave here.

However, that URL does safely lead to a BCLC news release about PlayNow.com - so not to worry.

Those who want to lose their money to BCLC can go directly to the link above!

Anonymous said...

I have my doubts that play now is as honest as the government claims. I think blackjack is fixed to get the dealer to win. I played with the house money and the game actually let me win (to entice me to play for real). I say this because the dealer pulled an extra card AFTER he had beaten me. On another game the dealer stopped pulling cards (surrendered)and let me win.
When I did play for real, I was beaten. Also although I deposited $$ during the #100 chip offer, I got nothing.
. Why don't they admit that the game is fixed and that the chanced of wining are different than a real casino? I saved my screen shots and I am thinking of sending them to RCMP. I am disappointed as I never expected to be cheated by my own government. If the demo is fixed, so are the games. And if it was fixed but it not now, I don't care. I already lost.

Sam Leon said...

I am not surprised at all. Sadly our government does not care about the people it is supposed to govern. That's the bottom line. I am not opposed to Gambling and it's a luxury and entertainment and nothing more. Once again another debacle from the BC Liberals. Mismangement, arrogance and complete denial or ignorance is really the power behind this throne. It is clear that this government is no longer capable or mature enough to govern this province. The evidence is clear. Mr Campbell and Co do not deserve the job any longer. Recall is fast approaching and by now even some of the backbenchers know that they're days are numbered. Regardless of the outcome these goons have to go.Does that mean that people in West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Shaughnessy, the west side of Vancouver, White Rock and Oak Bay, where there are no canadian casinos don't have to pay taxes?