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Week from hell for B.C. Lottery Corp.

B.C.‘s minister responsible for gambling dodged questions Tuesday on fines levied by the federal government and B.C. Lottery Corporation’s failed launch of its online casino.

NDP critic Shane Simpson challenged Rich Coleman to open up, because “the integrity and competence of the BCLC is now in question.”

BCLC was fined $500,000 by federal money laundering watchdog Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.

BCLC president Michael Graydon blamed administrative errors for the 419 large cash transaction reports deemed late, 366 reports with clerical errors and 27 reports with imprecise information.

Transactions $10,000 and greater must be reported.

“We have the same agenda they (FINTRAC) have,” Graydon said. “We don't want money laundering in our facilities, we're in the entertainment business.”

He said BCLC will file close to 50,000 reports with FINTRAC this year.

Graydon revealed that was online just six hours before it was shut down on Thursday.

Heavy traffic caused “data crossover” which compromised private information for 134 accounts, including a dozen that were seen by other players.

The incident was reported to the Privacy Commissioner.

Graydon said North America’s first government-run online casino could return this week.

“We have lost a week worth of opportunity but we would prefer the integrity of the site far outweighs some kind of commercial or economic benefit,” he said.

Graydon defended BCLC’s decision to inform existing customers only before the media.

“Our first priority was to talk to our customers,” he said.

Bob Mackin reports for 24 Hours

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