The government of Nova Scotia stated that the province will not be entering the online gambling space. Premier Darrell Dexter announced the decision last Thursday after hearing the opinions of the public and experts on the matter and said that government-sanctioned online gaming was not in line with the province’s goal of reducing the number of problem gamblers.
Nova Scotia’s finance minister Graham Steele, who supported the idea of online gambling earlier this year, has since changed his mind after reading the latest research on the issue.
“The thing that struck me was the idea that if we participated in online gambling we would get people into gambling who otherwise wouldn’t,” said Graham Steele.
Nova Scotia is not alone in this. Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams said in August that he was opposed to introducing online gambling in his province.
Other provinces such as Ontario and Quebec have gone in opposite directions and are in the process of launching their own online gambling websites following British Columbia’s lead this summer.
Prince Edward Island’s finance minister has said his province hasn’t yet decided whether they will make the move into internet gambling.
While the provinces are seeking new ways to drive in much needed tax dollars, it has become apparent that the provinces are divided on this issue. No one really knows for certain the potential financial rewards to be derived from a move to internet gambling or whether government websites have the know-how to effectively compete with long-established offshore websites.