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British Columbia Lottery sued by casino

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation is being sued for over $18 million by one of the provinces largest casino companies. Great Canadian Gaming says that they only decided to pursue litigation after efforts to resolve matters amicably over the last few years were unsuccessful. The dispute concerns money that BCLC allegedly continues to collect for a defunct trust fund.

The trust account in question was set up as part of a marketing agreement between BCLC and casinos with 300 or more slot machines. Monies paid into the account by the casinos were used by BCLC to fund initiatives that promoted responsible gambling in British Columbia. The agreement was terminated by BCLC in 2009, but Great Canadian Gaming claim that the annual deductions are still being collected from their operation. Great Canadian Gaming says that BCLC are not legally entitled to collect this money.

Great Canadian Gaming claims that BCLC made it clear that no more payments were required when they terminated the agreement. The $18 million sought in the lawsuit represents monies collected by BCLC for the defunct trust between 2010 and 2014. The gaming company suggests that they have tried unsuccessfully to have the collections stopped every year since the promotional arrangement ended. A BCLC representative declined to comment about an ongoing lawsuit.

Business disputes often involve large sums and inflexible parties, and litigation may be an option when attempts to reach an amicable agreement prove unsuccessful. However, there is always a degree of unpredictability with court action. An experienced business law lawyer might help resolve disputes before initiating litigation, but they could also advocate vigorously on behalf of their clients in court if necessary.

Source: CBC British Columbia, "B.C. Lottery Corporation sued for allegedly taking casino cash," Jason Proctor, March 29, 2015

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