Online Gambling Regulation Approved for Nova Scotia
Via the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ACL), Nova Scotia has become the second province in Canada to regulate online gambling, which is set to bring many different benefits to the local economy.
Details of the launch will see multiple options introduced for enthusiasts of online casinos, that includes the opportunity to play table games, slots, and video poker on the ALC website, with the hope that this can scale substantially over the next few months.
The site will face the scrutiny of the government, which is set to monitor it on a regular basis to make sure that it is adhering to the legislation that is in place.
Platform Ready to Use after Careful Planning
While the platform is live, finance minister Allan MacMaster has emphasized that they were not overly keen to advertise it.
We didn't want to make a big announcement about this. We're not trying to really promote it. We just wanted to put it out there. It's up and running now, and it's there for people who want to play.
Of course, a lot of attention has been paid to the dangers of online gambling and the addiction that is associated with it - indeed, this is one reason why the launch has been relatively low-key.
MacMaster himself has been engaged in multiple discussions with his cabinet colleague, Brian Comer, in recent weeks, who is the minister that is responsible for addictions and mental health.
The result of these talks is that MacMaster acknowledged that it is difficult to be able to overlook how dangers of online gambling.
"People are gaming on sites quite literally from just about anywhere in the world", he said.
There's no guarantee of payouts, and there's also, you know, very little in the way of protections for people who, you know, may become addicted to them and have other problems with them.
Much Concern from Experts about Online Gambling in Nova Scotia
The decision to make online gambling available in the province has obviously raised conflicting opinions.
Gambling addiction specialist Elizabeth Stephen revealed in an email that players from foreign countries who find it hard to access some gambling sites could now access the Nova Scotia site relatively easy.
No one is addressing the highly addictive nature of online slots, and I'm not sure that any of this has been considered by the government or [the Office of] Mental Health and Addictions.
Will Financial Benefits for Nova Scotia Outweigh the Concern of Online Gambling?
It has been projected that the province could benefit to the tune of $10 million during its maiden 12 months, though MacMaster was keen to state that this was not the primary reason for launching online gambling on the site.
What really drove it was the fact that it's out there," he said. "It exists without us, and if we have a presence, well, at least maybe we can protect people and recoup some of the money that's leaving our province.
Earlier this year, Toronto legalized online gambling and sports betting in the province and has witnessed an influx of operators apply for licenses, with this set to become a major player in the wider online gambling industry.
While it is highly unlikely that Nova Scotia will develop to this level, it could raise further questions down the line about how successful this move could prove to be.
Clearly, the dangers of online gambling are something that is a major concern for authorities, and monitoring this could prove to be more counter-productive when weighing this against the benefits.