Sunday September 18,2011 : MOBILE GAMBLING FOR CANADIAN PROVINCE?
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation wants to enhance its online gambling offering with mobile action
According to reports on CBC News Friday, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation wants to give its online players the ability to gamble from their smartphones or computer tablets.
The Corporation wants to transform its PlayNow.com website into smartphone and tablet apps., and earlier this week it put a call out for mobile app developers to design a system that will deliver its online gambling games to mobile devices.
The corporation said its PlayNow.com website wasn't designed for mobile devices, and a growing number of Canadians own smartphones and tablets. It said about 3,000 people already use devices such as the iPad to access PlayNow.com, and many more use mobile apps to gamble through unregulated foreign online casinos.
Anti-gambling politicians were quick to criticise the project, opining that mobile devices are particularly favoured by the more youthful demographic, creating potential danger that would require strict regulation to overcome.
However, Michael Graydon, the president and CEO of the B.C. Lottery Corporation, defended the decision to go mobile, saying that the Corporation is simply answering a demand that already exists.
"We're not creating the channel. We are responding to a channel that exists today, he said Friday. "A majority of the 2,000 websites that are illegally operated in this country and accessible here in British Columbia have mobile applications today," he said.
"We're one of 2,000 — the difference being that a lot of the safeguards around age verification, responsible gaming and those types of components are forefront in our site."
Graydon revealed that punters who self-exclude from the corporation's PlayNow.com operation won't be able to access the app., which is expected to launch next spring.