The province's gaming minister has said an RCMP team targeting illegal gaming was axed, in part, because it "never, ever" prepared a "business plan" - a document describing how it would be managed over the long-term. But records obtained via access to information requests show the team did prepare a pair of "business cases" arguing for its expansion in 2007 - with the more detailed of the two including a three-year budget plan. By January 2009, it had also completed the research needed to write a "five-year strategic plan," as well as a "final business case" that would have included short and long-term objectives and performance measures for the team. Three months later, though, the provincially-funded unit's doors were closed - with a government spokesperson later stating a business case isn't a business plan because it only explains why a particular program is needed.
In an action plan written during the early months of 2008, Wayne Holland - the officer who was then in charge of the team - acknowledged the more detailed, 19-page business case he had prepared for his RCMP superiors was "somewhat lacking in content."
The reason: according to the inspector, the team hadn't yet prepared a threat assessment on the "scope and extent of illegal gaming" in British Columbia.
But once that happened, Insp. Holland promised the team would be able to paint a more comprehensive picture of the team's future - including "timeframes for the recruitment and training of additional staff and the infrastructure required to support them."
That threat assessment - which warned Asian and Italian organized crime figures, as well as Hells Angels, were likely involved in illegal gaming - was ready by January 29, 2009.
Three months later the team's doors were closed with no record of any further business cases - or plans - being written.
The gaming minister, Rich Coleman, has also stated the team was shuttered because it was inefficient, had a high staff turnover rate and was redundant.
The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned action plan.