5/30/10 – With much talk of Canadian provincial governments entering the online gambling sector as operators or regulators, the subject has become a priority with several governments.
This is particularly so regarding the Atlantic Lottery Corporation which is owned by a partnership of provinces and is keen to get in on the internet action.
The provincial governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island own the ALC, and it is understood that most of these governments are interested in entering the industry in one form or another to compete with the likes of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia – all known to be actively considering options.
Estimates are that an ALC internet gambling enterprise could generate revenues of around Cdn$55 million for the governments concerned.
Newfoundland's stance is less certain, with local media reporting that the issue remains in discussion at parliamentary level.
Finance Minister Tom Marshall recently told parliamentary representatives: “The Atlantic Lottery Corporation, which is owned by the four Atlantic provinces, has indicated an interest in getting into online gambling because of the fact there are over 2,000 sites, 2,000 illegal sites that people can access right now, and they want to do it to offer more responsible gambling.
"Our government has not made any decision on whether we are going to support that initiative or not. That is something that we will consider at some time in the future."