Monday, February 01, 2010
B.C. Lotteries woos mayor with free Games tickets
Good Michael Smyth column in The Province on what's happening to some of the Games tickets purchased with public money - specifically by the B.C. Lottery Corp.
It has offered free Games tickets and hotel accommodation from mayors in towns with mini-casino gaming centres and casinos. That's money that comes out of the pockets of losing gamblers and comes out of the profits that flow into provincial revenues. And the value is easily in the thousands of dollars.
Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz said no. It seemed wrong, and it also seemed illegal, she said. Municipal politicians aren't allowed to accept gifts under the Community Charter.
That raises a good question. B.C. Lotteries seeks lots of favours from mayors and councillors, from support for gambling expansion to support for eased liquor regulations (drinking gamblers lose more).
So how is this not an improper attempt to secure future favours, or at the least an effort that raises the appearance of impropriety?
And if B.C. Lotteries doesn't expect any future benefit, why is it giving away taxpayers' money?
Read Smyth's column here.
Posted by paul at 4:07 PM