A decision giving casino operators a bigger cut of gaming revenues across British Columbia came under fire in Victoria Tuesday.
“At a time when everyone else is tightening their belts, give a break to very, very profitable casino operators in BC.”
NDP leader John Horgan was asking Finance Minister Mike de Jong about taxpayers now only getting 40 per cent of the split, when they used to get 60.
“A decision was made that happily has resulted in increased revenues flowing to the lottery corporation which, of course, are put directly to work on behalf of British Columbians.”
As for a possible conflict of interest involving former lotteries boss Michael Graydon -who now works for Paragon Gaming, de Jong says he quit before the new revenue split was approved.
The New Democrats say documents obtained using a Freedom of Information request indicate Michael Graydon knew about the changes before he left to work in the private sector.
Last year, an audit determined he was in a conflict of interest because he did not disclose he was negotiating his new job at least two months before he quit.
de Jong insists revenue splits are regularly reviewed and updated.
“The decision was made weeks, if not months, after Mr. Graydon had departed the BC Lottery Corporation. A change of this sort is generally reviewed one year after the change has occurred and that process is underway now.”
The New Democrats say that revenue split hasn’t changed in 16 years.