Atlantic Canadians May Get Online Gambling

Published Saturday, April 18, 2009 -

Canada, where winter may be as long as six months, and you can't get your car out of the driveway for the snow. Well now it may be possible in Nova Scotia, one of Canada's Atlantic region provinces,to sit back forget the winter and play one of your favourite online casino games or a friendly game of internet poker. This pastime that's not allowed in many parts of the world, may soon be available in eastern Canada.

Currently the provincial lottery corporation is looking to hire a software developer to establish a sports betting platform and the required infrastructure to administer the new system. It may be possible in the near future for Canadians from Nova Scotia to bet on pro sports.

In a bid for tenders posted on its website, the Atlantic Lottery Corp states, "In order to remain relevant to our players we must deliver what the player wants in the safest and most entertaining way possible,"

Michael Lipton, partner in the Toronto law firm Dickinson Wright, who heads up the Canadian gaming section of the firm, said, "The genie's out of the bottle," adding "The lottery corporation could reap vast revenues from sports betting online," Taxes gleaned from sports betting online could result in huge windfalls for the four Atlantic provinces, said Mr. Lipton, who believes it's time governments took advantage of the enormous sums offshore betting firms have been making for years.

As per usual there are critics of the plan, Liberal justice critic Michel Samson, said, "Bringing in more gaming . . . will have a ravaging effect." Mr. Samson also questioned whether controls would be in place to prevent minors from making wagers online. Mr. Lipton said software is available to screen clients and ensure minors don't get involved.

"The Internet is with us, all around us, all the time. The upshot is that people have learned to trust the system. There are jurisdictions that have very high standards that regulate them." Mr. Lipton concluded.

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