Nova Scotia Responsible Gambling Fails

Published Thursday, August 21, 2014 -
Nova Scotia Responsible Gambling Fails

Canadian provincial governments are introducing internet betting slowly but surely with a few twists and turns along the way. In Nova Scotia the My Play system was introduced in April 2012 for all video lottery terminals in the province. Punters were required to obtain a card that collected player’s activities data in the optimistic hope that the required card and system would keep players from developing gambling issues. The government of Nova Scotia has decided the system isn’t working and will discontinue the practice. While the province determined the responsible gambling initiative is ineffective and not used it will retain other responsible gambling initiatives, such as mandatory cash outs and maximum bets.

The Minister responsible for Part I of the Gaming Control Act, Andrew Younger, said, “This was something that was tried and the money was spent to do that, but it makes no sense for me to continue authorizing spending millions of dollars on a system that is actually not helping,”  

Developed by Nova Scotia based Techlink the responsible gambling system has cost the public $19.5 million, with $13.1 million going to capital costs. Younger said the system was due for a $1-million upgrade soon.

Online gambling has brought the revenues down for VLT’s in bars since smoking was banned. The issuing of the player cards has been compromised by the fact that temporary cards are available. Younger commented, “The evidence that this is not working is that 99.9 per cent of players are actually not using the features by signing up for the cards,”  Younger continued to explain, “In fact, many  players are using two or three cards per play session, which actually defeats the whole point of having the system in place.”

VLT machine addiction is a problem in other parts of the world such as Australia and in the United Kingdom where concerns are constantly aired by social awareness advocates and governments alike.





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