Thursday August 21,2014 : NOVA SCOTIA DITCHES RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING AID
Two years and $19.5 million later, My-Play is dumped for non-performance.
The Canadian provincial government of Nova Scotia is abandoning a responsible gaming tracking system for video lottery terminal players after concluding it's not meeting objectives. The system will be taken down early in September.
The My-Play system was introduced in April 2012 and required players to insert cards into the VLTs that allowed them to set spending and time limits as well as to stop play immediately.
Andrew Younger, the minister responsible, says the system was a reasonable attempt to improve responsible gambling features on VLTs, but it didn't reduce play by problem gamblers after a two year trial at an initial capital cost of $13.1 million, and another $6.4 million in operating expenses.
“The percentage of revenue the province received as a result of problem gaming increased since My-Play was introduced,” said Younger. “What happened was it got rid of the casual and tourist gamers. There was no decrease in problem gamers’ use of VLTs.”
Younger said another $1 million capital upgrade would have been required of the system to keep it functioning properly.
John Kidos, CEO of the company behind My-Play said the poor results from the product were due to the preference of punters for the "light enrolment" option, which did not require them to record their names and ID details, along with the failure of the government to additionally introduce a rewards system to encourage punters to use the full system.
He said that My-Play statistics show 99.9 percent of players opted for the more user-friendly light enrolment option rather than fill out a form with their name and other personal information on it.
According to the Nova Scotia authorities, only 3.9 percent of play sessions in the past 24 months accessed or used the system features, and feedback from users indicated they didn’t want to provide personal information in the full enrolment model.
They added that the technology wasn’t meant to reward “loyalty points” when the purpose was to promote responsible gaming, and claimed that VLT revenue declined by $31.3 million since the My-Play system was introduced.
Younger said the government would honour its financial obligations to Kido’s Techlink company through to November 2015.