Last week, CTV's Mi-Jung Lee reported there have been a soaring number of crime complaints connected to British Columbia's casinos. According to Ms. Lee, "in the past five years loan sharking complaints have nearly tripled to 306, fraud has jumped ten times to 283 and assault complaints have more than tripled." In response, gaming minister Rich Coleman said the province is "on top of it. We'll stay on top of it." But, as Public Eye readers know, that doesn't appear to be the case when it comes to loan sharking. In an earlier exclusive interview, the gaming policy and enforcement branch's former casino investigations manager Ed Rampone told us that - when he was in government - not a lot of resources were spent on catching such criminals because such investigations would have sucked up time and money better used to stamp out more serious crimes such as drug dealing. Moreover, "For most of (loan shark users), as long as they pay, they have no problem with these people," explained Mr. Rampone - who was employed by the civil service until April 2009.
June 14, 2010