The B.C. Lottery Corporation has asked a judge to quash an order forcing lottery officials to release documents to CBC News related to possible money laundering at the some of the province’s casinos.
B.C.’s information and privacy commissioner ordered BCLC in February to release the documents.
The Financial Transactions Reports Analysis Centre (Fintrac), the federal money laundering watchdog, hit BCLC in 2010 with a $700,000 fine for failing to adequately report suspected money laundering. The lottery corporation is appealing the fine.
The penalty followed a 2008 CBC News investigation that revealed how it was possible to launder huge amounts of cash at casinos.
The investigation also showed that BCLC was under-reporting the problem to Fintrac.
CBC News is seeking documents detailing just what BCLC did or did not do to incur the Fintrac penalty.
The latest legal challenge by BCLC is just the latest in a series of attempts by the corporation to overturn the commissioner’s orders, according to Darrell Evans, of the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA).
"It's a shocking record of non-compliance, not only with [freedom of information] requests, but with the orders of the commission to release information," Evans said. "This is the public's way of finding out what's really going on behind the scenes of public bodies."
There have been six orders by the information and privacy commissioner's office directing the B.C. Lottery Corporation to release records and out of the six orders BCLC has appealed five.
"They're basically using litigation here to delay the process,” said Vince Gogolek, Evans' colleague at FIPA.
The costs of all of BCLC's appeals is estimated at $500,000, Evans said.