Blog entry published on 18 October 2010
Nova Scotia Gives Thumbs Down to Online Gambling
Author: Anton Johan
Just when it looked as though most of the provinces in Canada were going to jump aboard the online gambling train, in terms of legalizing and regulating the popular internet activity, government officials in Nova Scotia have decided against forming their own legalized and regulated online gambling industry.
This is obviously not good news for online gamblers that live in the province, or for online gambling operators eager for a piece of the lucrative Nova Scotia gambling 'pie.'
According to reports, Nova Scotia premier Darrell Dexter took into account the opinions of both gambling experts and a representative segment of the general public in Nova Scotia before deciding not to initiate a government-supported online gambling industry.
Even though Dexter acknowledges that the province would greatly benefit from taxes levied on online gambling operators, he believes those financial benefits are outweighed by the potential damage caused by gambling in its many forms.
Dexter was quoted as saying that while his government has no control over online casinos in other provinces or regions, Nova Scotia officials shouldn't 'bury their heads in the sand' with regards to recognizing the effects of abusive and problem gambling. And sadly the premier is not alone in his opinions.
Once a supporter of legalized and regulated online gambling industry in the province, Nova Scotia finance minister Graham Steele reportedly changed his tune after reading research on the issue which suggested that government-sanctioned online gambling might encourage people not previously inclined to gamble to start gambling, who could then possibly develop into problem gamblers.
For our money, that is a load of old poppycock. Instead of focusing on how far online gambling taxation could go towards helping pay-off Nova Scotia's $203 million deficit, and how a portion of that tax money could be used to help recognize and combat problem gambling in the province, Dexter and Steele's solution is to do nothing.
The reality in Nova Scotia - and just about everywhere else in the world that has access to both land and online gambling resources - is that problem gamblers will always find a way to gamble, no matter whether they live in areas where gambling is legal or not. That's just a sad truth. So why then should the hundreds of thousands of online gamblers in Nova Scotia who can and do gamble safely and in moderation be made to suffer?
Food for though, eh?
|Posted by Anton Johan at 08:18 on 18 October 2010|
|This post has been tagged in the following categories: Industry|