The New Democratic Party (NDP) has obtained documents showing British Columbia’s provincial government rushed the launch of its Canadian internet casino. This haste was exercised in spite of objections to the software developer’s tender. As a result, consumer’s privacy and money were placed into unnecessary risk.
The NDP obtained this information under Canada’s Freedom of Information Act. A review of the initial offer from ALC Orbis Technology to the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) “highlighted a number of functional areas (business and IT) which did not satisfy BCLC’s requirements.” This documentation proceeds to assert “Upon subsequent contact with ALC and Orbis Technology directly, the majority of the issues were clarified and resolved.”
The released document did not contain any specifics regarding outstanding problems, but the team evidently chose to proceed with the initial contract instead of investing three or four months merely searching for qualified replacement developers.
MLA Shane Simpson, the opposition party’s lottery critic, decries that this demonstrates the government put expediency above the privacy and security of British Columbians. Simpson speculated “What I think happened here is we see that Minister Coleman and the BC Lottery Corporation in an effort I believe to simply start making money sooner rather than doing the due diligence they should have and making sure they got the best system they could get, they chose the system that would get online fastest.”
Last July, the online gambling website in Canada, branded “Playnow”, was launched. It was shut down nearly immediately to the government explanation that the servers were overwhelmed by the abundant users. Officials later admitted it was actually closed down because 130 visitors saw personal information of 3rd parties. In some instances, these users even gambled with other player’s money.
The first legal internet gambling website in North America re-launched, last August. However, in October, Canada’s online casino got another glitch.
Orbis Technology, the developer of BCLC’s interactive gambling software, has since become OpenBet. OpenBet’s platform and products are trusted and utilized by top gambling operators including Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.