Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fire BC Lottery CEO Michael Graydon now! Online gambling fiasco and federal Proceeds of Crime money laundering fines demand it

Gambling is big business for the BC Liberal government

- Martin McKenna photo

BC Lottery Corporation CEO Michael Graydon should be fired immediately by the provincial government - for cause and without severance.
The reasons are extremely obvious - but don't bet on the BC Liberals doing the right thing.

In fact, minister responsible Rich Coleman has already rejected the idea of firing the $383,000 a year CEO.

The current situation is a complete embarrassment for the province - the BC Lottery Corporation has been fined a massive $670,000 for more than 1,000 violations of the federal Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act - an amazing story broken by CKNW AM 980 reporter Brett Mineer.

It doesn't get much worse than that!

But it does at the BC Lottery Corporation - they deliberately misled the public for days about the crash of its controversial online gambling program - finallly confessing that it wasn't because of the stated "tremendous customer response" - as BC Lottery VP Kevin Gass said.

It was actually because of a "data crossover" that allowed some players to access other players money and financial information!

And it happened 134 times - but no public word until Thursday - five days later.

Then we discover that the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada -- FINTRAC -- fined BC Lottery Corporation because it misfiled 1,020 reports for casino transactions over $10,000.

Hmmmm - let's see - who would likely be making such transactions? Lemme think - yes, there are four possibilities:

- Really lucky gamblers

- Really rich gamblers

- drug dealers laundering money

- terrorists laundering money

You figure out the odds as to which ones are most likely for over 1,000 transactions.

I'm going to stick to Lotto 6-49 - where I know I won't win the big prize but at least I'm laundering money to health care and education - not organized crime or terrorism!

Lastly - a bit of ironic humour - if you want to check out Michael Graydon's background on the BC Lottery Corporation website, Microsoft Explorer posts this ominous warning:
"There is a problem with this website's security certificate.

The security certificate presented by this website was issued for a different website's address.

Security certificate problems may indicate an attempt to fool you or intercept any data you send to the server."

No kidding Microsoft - you got that right!



DPL said...

The Gordo team can sure them.

Anonymous said...

Earlier this week, I received a note from from BCLC indicating that my PlayNow Account had been breached and that my private account information had been viewed by outside parties. I used this account to simply buy lotto tickets online...not play the "new and exciting" casino games. My account and all money in the account, has since been frozen.

As far as I am concerned, the BCLC has not only illegally breached my privacy, but has literally stolen my money as well (as opposed to bleeding it away through lotto tickets). I foolishly deposited money in this account in good faith, yet there is no customer protections. Where can I sign up for a class action lawsuit against BCLC? Where the hell is the RCMP's commercial crime branch looking into this? Why the hell isn't Farnworth demanding the legislature's Crown Corporations Committee be recalled to investigate this breach?

Gerald said...

Personally...I stopped buying any lottery tickets from BCLC with the exception of 649 or Lotto Max about a year ago.I had the feeling that the province was running less than honest games.It was just a feeling at the time but then we saw the claw backs of lottery funds to Arts,Sports and Disabled groups and it became clear that this government was being completely dishonest about how it was using lottery funds.
It would be useful if someone could do an FOI on lottery funds...percentage paid out in prizes and where the vast sums collected are used.
Overall my feelings on lotteries can be summed up this way...You can't win without a ticket and you can't win with one.

Crankypants said...

Not only should Graydon be dismissed, but Rich Coleman should also be removed from his cabinet position regarding gaming. Neither one was honest about why the Playnow site was shut down. They both misled the media and the public and for all we know, we may still be getting less than the truth.

I know that there is no way in hell I will ever sign up to play anything on this site. The security of the site and the fairness of the games offered are suspect, to say the least.

In the end, I suspect that Playnow will be used by either addicted gamblers or money launderers. The rest of us are more likely to take our business elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Bill, I think you're mistaken. Liberals reward CEO's with year end bonuses when they manage to mislead the public.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment at 9:13pm. I too make my lottery ticket purchased online. I have always transferred a minimal amount from my bank to my BCLC account. Recently I was lucky to have a small but significant win ( at least for me ). HOWEVER for over a week now I have NO access to my funds. Even if I wanted to pull my money out, I COULD NOT because of this fiasco. I definitely want to be compensated. This is so ridiculous and YET these guys are paid hundred of thousands a year to run this circus. I want access to my money and I want it now. And don't tell me to deal with BCLC and their lies, I have already experienced their POOR customer service.

Guy in Victoria

Paul said...

You're right about the security certificate.

And I don't have Microsoft Internet Explorer.

I'm on a Mac with the SAFARI browser.

*** WARNING ***

"Safari can't verify the identity of the website """

"The certificate for this website is invalid. You might be connecting to a
website that is pretending to be "", which could put your confidential information at risk. Would you like to connect to the website


Connecting to the BCLC website could put my "confidential information at risk"?

No thanks.

It seems that Safari and Internet Explorer have more integrity than the BC Lottery Corporation which has been deliberately misleading the public all week.

Is it the hackers that want our personal information or maybe FINTRAC is sniffing everyone's butts now.

I wonder how many people are going to ignore the warning anyway.

Paul said...

I notice that yesterday the Minister of Gambling Rich Coleman said the $9,999.00 online limit had nothing to do with the FINTRAC reporting requirement.

Minister of Gambling Rich Coleman: "It wasn’t driven by that. It was just that we were trying to reach a limit that made some sense."

Going from a $120 a week online gambling limit to $9,999.00 "made some sense" to him and $10,000.00 did not?


A FINTRAC report only needs to be filed for transactions of $10,000 or more.

Setting the Internet gambling limit at $1 less than the $10,000.00 required for FINTRAC reports did a nice end run around FINTRAK. (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada)

Oh, it's starting to make some sense now isn't it?

April 1, 2009 - On the eve of the election and without telling the public - the Liberals shut down the province's 12-member integrated illegal gaming enforcement team after six years of operations.

Minister of Gambling Rich Coleman: "Frankly we weren't getting the results we wanted."

Is the following what he wanted?

Four months later, on August 20th the Minister of Gambling Rich Coleman increased the online betting limit from $120 to $9,999, shaving just $1 off $10,000 to avoid a federal audit.

That's why it made sense to him.

Getting rid of the illegal gaming enforcement team and circumventing our laws by shaving just $1 off of $10,000 made sense to him.

Minister of Gambling 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.

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

Rich Coleman and Pinocchio Campbell - what a team.

Anonymous said...

Here's the $9,999 question: If Mr. Graydon won't resign (without compesation), would he be willing to work for the next couple of years without pay?

That would cover the cost of his current $670,000 "administrative" blunder and leave almost a $100,000 buffer for future incompetencies.

Just a wee bit of a "rough patch" Mr. Graydon?

Kim said...

Paul is right. Micheal Grayson must step down. Rich Coleman must step down. The RCMP must step up and there needs to be a fully disclosed public forensic audit of all BCLC transactions since 2001. I'm going to write some letters. John Horgan, Carole James, Gordon Campbell, Mike de jong, and maybe I'll cc some editors while I'm at it. Is anyone else in?

Anonymous said...

What's the difference between "organized crime" and the BC Liberals?


What's the difference between "organized crime" and the BC Lottery Corporation?

There just has to be a good punchline to either question.

Okay. I'll start it off.

Oganized crime is, well, organized!

Anonymous said...

Lotteries fiasco: Coleman's becoming the fox in the henhouse

Michael Smyth writes in today's Province:

What do you expect when Coleman is responsible for both the promotion and the policing of gambling in B.C.?

He's not only responsible for the B.C. Lottery Corp. and its soaring profit-haul, he's also in charge of the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch, which is supposed to protect players and the public from ripoffs and con jobs.

The fox in charge of the henhouse! These branches of government should be separated.

The enforcement branch should be under the solicitor-general's purview, not the guy in charge of increasing gambling profits.

It's a glaring conflict of interest.

Anonymous said...

check this out: Rich Coleman and Patrick Kinsella had dinner together last night

Kim said...

I'm guessing, pork...

Mark Groen said...

About that site certificate, they had as much acumen with that as with the ahem, data crossover.

Certificates can be purchased that work for both or They have neglected to get that type, so your link (without the "www") doesn't match the domain of the certificate.

Even easier, with both Mirosoft servers and Apache web servers when a request is made without the "www" one can redirect/rewrite the request automagically but that take some server knowledge to set up and well...we know how that goes.

Anonymous said...

The new Casinogate is certainly much more diabolical than the original installment, and I hope that catchphrase will forever relate to the BC Liberals illegal, inept and ill-advised bungling of the entire provincial gaming system.

In this case, the government actually gets fined! Thank you Ottawa!

In 2001, it was merely a neighbour of the premier who was convicted on charges including fraud and influence peddling.

And remember, our former premier resigned on his own accord.

This helps to highlight the huge differences between the BC Liberals and BC NDP.

Once Glen Clark was made aware of the allegations against him, he stood down to uphold the integrity of the government.

Gordon Campbell, Rich Coleman, Kash Heed, John Les, and others in the BC Liberal caucus do not have half as much integrity as Clark.

Anonymous said...

"The new Casinogate is certainly much more diabolical than the original installment, and I hope that catchphrase will forever relate to the BC Liberals illegal, inept and ill-advised bungling of the entire provincial gaming system."

It won't since the two are not related. The first involved passing offs. The second was a breakdown in server operations (servers being what they are are prone to glitches). We in the NDP got spanked over that Casinogate involving the Admiral in Burnaby and rightly so.

The only thing Coleman is guilty of is hyprocisy but every party has that.

"In this case, the government actually gets fined! Thank you Ottawa!"

BC Lotteries gets fined, not the provincial govermment directly.

"In 2001, it was merely a neighbour of the premier who was convicted on charges including fraud and influence peddling. "

Wasn't 2001, was before that.

Ujjal Dosanjh's neighbour didn't get charged with anything.

"And remember, our former premier resigned on his own accord."

It was either that or get pushed out.

"This helps to highlight the huge differences between the BC Liberals and BC NDP."

There's not much difference other than what side of the bed we sleep in and whether we're left dominated or right dominated.

"Once Glen Clark was made aware of the allegations against him, he stood down to uphold the integrity of the government."

Which by that time didnt have much.

We should have kept Dan Miller.

"Gordon Campbell, Rich Coleman, Kash Heed, John Les, and others in the BC Liberal caucus do not have half as much integrity as Clark."

True. Clark wasn't exactly a poster boy for the best Premier either. Personally I liked Dan Miller when he was temporary Premier.

Didn't get into the political crap like Ujjal and Joy McPhail did.

Anonymous said...

Weird bit of suggestion that they are building a daycare at Hastings to make it more convenient for people to be there longer, with their kids?

Anonymous said...

As a former employee of BCLC I can tell you Michael Graydon is responsible for the downfall of what was once a good company to work for. After Michael Graydon became President BCLC turned into a disrespectful, abusive workplace operating without a shred of integrity. I was sickened by Michael Graydon's agenda to lure youth into gambling using whatever means possible. He focuses on the internet because it will attract youth and get young people hooked on gambling. The company focus was to get products on the internet as fast as possible to generate more money. Who cares about integrity or security. They used to tell employees that the revenue went to good causes such as charities and community. The truth is all BCLC staff ever talk about is big bonuses, front row seats to the Olympics and other perks. In my opinion, Michael Grayson has no morale compass. I am embarassed to say I ever worked for this company.

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