Nova Scotia is seeking to become another province to regulate online gambling and launch a state-sponsored online casino in Canada, even if its current partners in lottery gaming are against it.
Last week, Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams publicly stated his opposition to online gambling in his province, saying in an interview with radio station VOCM that he would reject any such legislation.
The approval of Newfoundland and Labrador is important to Nova Scotia’s hope of installing an online casino, because the two provinces along with New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island make up the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC). The ALC has an online website, PlaySphere, but this offers its 65,000 account-holders the opportunity to buy lottery tickets and play limited interactive games only.
Nova Scotia finance minister Graham Steele told the Chronicle-Herald newspaper, however, that ALC partners’ approval may not be necessary. According to the paper, “the four Atlantic provinces, which are shareholders in the lottery corporation, don’t all have to agree on which products they offer,” as Prince Edward Island is the only one of the four to currently offer electronic keno, for example.
The Nova Scotia government will release its new gaming strategy sometime before the end of 2010. Loto Quebec has been planning to launch online gaming sometime after October 1 of this year, while Ontario and Saskatchewan are also considering regulation of internet gambling in Canada.