May 20, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – Just weeks after fellow Canadian province Manitoba openly pondered the benefits of a regulated, nominally state-run form of legal online gambling — and following soon after the Canadian Gaming Summit and GiGSE explored the same issue — Nova Scotia is now stating that it is exploring options to get involved with an online gambling plan of its own.
“We particularly want to deal with things that were not prominent five years ago, but are very prominent now, in particular, Internet gambling,” Nova Scotia Finance Minister Graham Steele recently stated at Province House in Halifax (according to David Jackson at the Chronicle Herald).
“And if we are going to participate, in what way?” Steele continued. “Those are the key questions.”
Although not a guarantee that the province will embrace regulated online gambling, it’s a pretty compelling sign that something’s in the works. And this comes at a time when almost all of Canada is debating the possibility of regulating online gambling in order to reap the potential billions of dollars in tax revenue.
On top of that, government lottery organizations in Quebec and British Columbia, “as well as from the Atlantic provinces,” have announced that they’re building a new Internet poker site “designed to take on traffic from the 2,000 illegal gambling sites operating in Canada,” reports the Toronto Sun.
The provinces are reportedly eager to start competing with the huge international online poker companies like PokerStars, which take in “billions of dollars spent each year in Canada”, according to the article.
Their solution? Creating a new online poker site to lure away Canadian online poker players, instead of taking the American approach of “policing” international poker sites, “which appears technically impossible”.
The provinces plan to add a security feature to “prevent problem gamblers from playing on the site”.