4/20/10 – The timeline for the introduction of provincial government-sanctioned online poker in British Columbia, Canada appears to have shortened, according to an article in the Times Colonist newspaper over the weekend.
 
The report reveals that Rich Coleman, the provincial minister responsible for gambling, has announced to the legislature that peer-to-peer provincial online poker will go live in September 2010.
 
Pokerheads will be able to take on one another in government-regulated games which are to coincide with similar moves being made by the provinces of Quebec and the Maritimes.
 
"We have arrangements with them [the other provinces] to do peer-to-peer [online poker] because we'd need the number of players to make it feasible," Coleman said.
 
Coleman told lawmakers: "With regard to spending limits, they're set by the individual – how much they feel they can spend. We found that all research says that the best responsible gaming mechanism is if people set their limits, so the range allows people to set their limits within what they think they can afford and what they're going to play."
 
He said B.C.'s site will be one of the few sites using such an approach, "as far as giving people that responsibility and monitoring the play, so that we can make sure that people aren't getting themselves into difficulty the way they do on most other Internet sites."
 
Arguing against the initiative, opposition politician Shane Simpson pointed out that BC's Cdn$120-a-week limit on how much players could wager through their B.C. Lottery Corp. account has been escalated by the government to Cdn$10 000. It now appeared that as far as the new poker venture was concerned, the sky was the limit.
 
The government pointed out that it is taking precaustions against problem gambling, with all the usual monitoring at casinos despite recent budget cuts.