Manitoba Government to Offer Online Gambling

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Manitoba is the next province announced that they plan to offer online gambling and this could be ready by early next year. The province of Manitoba plans to have its own online casino, online poker room and other games of chance.

The government estimates that the online site will bring in $1.5 million in its first year and about $17 million a year by 2018. Five percent of the net revenues will be used to fund gambling addiction programs, up from the normal two percent take on traditional gambling venues.

To facilitate its transition into the online gaming space, Manitoba will work jointly with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation and to offer online gambling based on BC’s gaming platform which is already in place since 2010 and using software provided by GTECH  and Openbet.

Both partners should benefit from economies of scale and a larger liquidity pool for poker. Both partners are still negotiating terms of the service agreement between them.

The site will be operated by the Manitoba Lotteries Corporation and regulated by the Manitoba Gaming Control Commission.

Manitoba is not making gambling more available, Lotteries Minister Steve Ashton said Thursday, but only keeping up with an industry that has already spread far and wide.

“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 said. “We view the new site as a way of keeping that in the province.”

Ontario is another province that is in the process of getting involved in the online gaming space and although there was a tendering process for a solution provider, recent whispers suggest that Ontario may take on a different approach being that as a licensing body and not that of an operator. Such a move by the country’s most populated province could bear an impact on the existing poker network shared by the Canadian provinces of Quebec and BC who were counting on the participation of Ontario to contribute to the player liquidity.

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