New responsible gaming website claimed as the first of its kind

Despite spending some Cdn$8 million on responsible gambling initiatives, the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation regulator was characterised by an anti-gambling group group this week as a fox guarding a henhouse.

Making the accusation during a demonstration outside a presentation to Halifax businessmen on responsible gambling, anti-gambling group's Terry Fulmer, said the Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. looking out for gambling addicts is "like the fox saying how deeply they care for the chicken's welfare."

Marie Mullally, CEO of the regulator, briefed businessmen on the Gaming Corporation's latest responsible gambling projects. She said programs are conducted in high schools and universities to keep young people from gambling. The Corporation spent almost $8 million on gambling programs last year, she revealed. Mullally also talked about a new responsible gambling website, calling it the first of its kind.

"It provides information about setting time limits, budgeting and knowing the odds," Mullally said. "Players can track gambling activity and spending habits to better manage their play."

Fulmer admitted that the corporation is doing things that may help addicts. But he said the Gaming Corporation should not be in charge of promoting responsible gambling.

"It should be taken into government and funded completely by the Health Department so the conflict of interest is not there," Fulmer said. "We can carry on and start thinking about treatment."

Fulmer also doubted how effective the new website will be. "Self-regulating is something (addicts) have a problem with. That's the basis of their problem," Fulmer said.

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