Canadian online gambling - Prince Edward Island interested (update)

Prince Edward Island mulls involvement to raise revenues

The finance minister for the Prince Edward Island region in Canada says the government is considering joining the Atlantic Lottery Corporation's initiative to bring online gambling to its residents.

Finance Minister Wes Sheridan told the CBC that a market estimated at around $50 million was available in the region, at present being serviced by offshore websites. He said many Islanders are already gambling on risky, unregulated sites outside Canada, and that a government priority was fair and responsible gaming and the safety of online gamblers.

"What we're looking at, and what [Atlantic Lottery Corporation] has proposed, is to go forward and put a site up there to compete with these offshore entities and play in a regulated, policed kind of fashion," said Sheridan.

The issue of bringing online gambling to the region is a hot one, reports CBC. The Nova Scotia government is considering the possibilities, whilst Newfoundland and Labrador's premier has said he would personally not entertain the idea.

Sheridan said cabinet will have the final say on whether Islanders will be able to gamble on a regional site. As for when that decision might be made, the province first wants to get a closer look at ALC's proposal.

Thus far the Lotto Quebec and the British Columbia Lottery Corporation have the support of their respective provincial governments to go online, whilst it is likely that the Ontario government will approve a similar initiative by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (see previous InfoPowa reports). Saskatchewan is reported to be considering the possibility.

Ten Constitutional provinces comprise Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. There are also three territories which derive their mandates and powers directly from the federal government - Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon.

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