Tuesday June 28 , 2011 : CANADIAN PROVINCE TO INVEST IN BRIT ONLINE GAMING COMPANY
dn$ 2 million boost for London-based Roboreus
The Canadian provincial government of New Brunswick has cleared the way for the provincial lotteries corporation to invest Cdn$2 million in a British online gaming company, reports the local newspaper Telegraph-Journal.
A Cabinet order signed Monday this week authorised the New Brunswick Lotteries and Gaming Corp. to make an initial investment in Roboreus, a U.K.-based gaming company. The Atlantic Lottery Corp., which oversees gaming in the four Atlantic provinces of which New Brunswick is a member, is driving the investment.
Finance Minister Blaine Higgs told the newspaper that Atlantic Lottery sees Roboreus as a business opportunity for the region.
"The ALC is looking at different forms of generating revenue," Higgs said. "This is an established company in the U.K."
Higgs said lotteries are under growing pressure to find ways to stay competitive in a world that's moving rapidly from conventional forms of gaming to gambling on the Internet. The new investment would give ALC a foothold in the market.
"These activities are happening all around us and so ALC's proposal is to stay current and be part of a regulated environment rather than an unregulated environment," Higgs said. "Our concern is . . . it should be regulated. It should be controlled. We have a way to control it with ALC."
Roboreus was founded in 2008, and develops and licenses innovative product & technology platforms for the lottery and gaming sectors. The company's latest product is a daily lottery in the United Kingdom called GeoSweep. The company is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
GeoSweep sees players select real locations on a grid map using Google Maps. They pay out their money on a square plot of land. If that grid location is drawn, they win the daily jackpot. Anyone who has selected surrounding grid locations shares in the second prize.
An online demonstration of the British game shows a player selecting properties, and then paying for a 30-day subscription for the daily-draw.
Earlier this year, the News Brunswick province directed the Atlantic Lottery Corporation to conduct preliminary research into the feasibility of an Internet gambling site for New Brunswick.
While other Atlantic provinces such as Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland all passed on the prospect of launching online casinos, the New Brunswick government said earlier this year that the idea was still in play in New Brunswick.
In other Canadian provinces, online gambling is operated under the control of provincial lottery corporations owned by the regional governments, with British Columbia and Quebec in operation and Ontario planning to follow in 2012. Saskatchewan is also considering an entry into the sector, driven by First Nation tribes.