Canada's Prairie Province Manitoba to Establish an Online Casino

Published Friday, April 06, 2012 -

The Canadian provincial governments are slowly and most assuredly going with the internet as a place to play and bet. Manitoba the prairie province in the middle of Canada has let it be known they too will follow British Columbia, Quebec, and soon Ontario into the virtual world of online casinos.

Manitoba’s Lotteries Minister Steve Ashton commented that the province is keeping pace with the rest of the world which has embraced online wagering in many jurisdictions. The minister said, "There are 2,000 sites currently (and) an estimated $37 million that goes into online gaming, much of it which goes out of the province," Ashton continued, "We view (the new site) as a way of keeping that in the province." The province expects to offer online casino, poker and other games, in the coming year. Ashton explained that the leg work has been done by the British Columbian provincial counterpart PlayNow online gambling offering. The partnership arrangement between the Manitoba Lottery and BCLC will provide everything from site design, development and testing services. No details have been revealed as yet regarding the arrangement.

Ashton did say however that five per cent of net revenues will be used to fund gambling addiction programs 3 percent more than the 2 percent from the other more traditional offerings. The critics are already saying this move by Manitoba will lead to more problem gambling but Nigel Turner, a psychologist who specializes in the subject at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health at the University of Toronto said, "People who are (problem) gambling are often gambling because they want to escape ... and that means going out, so the casino environment tends to pander to that." He continued to add that online gambling as a format can be less addictive than the tables at a casino. "You hear about everybody's win, you hear the ka-ching, ka-ching of all the wins and the bells and whistles and so on, so I think it's a much more enveloping experience."

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