Newly proposed and accelerated online gambling laws in Canada's Prince Edward Island province have sparked criticism for not following a due process.
PEI struggles with opposition to online casino gambling
The Canadian maritime province of Prince Edward Island is implementing its plan to launch an online casino, bypassing one due process that in turn has sparked criticism. The province plans to run online casinos through the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, but no public consultations have been launched on the matter, leading to a strained relationship between supporters and opponents.
Darlene Compton, who serves as PEI's finance minister and chairman of the provincial lottery commission, argued that the ALC was set up to ensure public consultation and legalization of gambling as required by law.
ALC can only start gambling online after doing all the necessary research, Compton argued, but according to ACL CEO Chris Keevill, the organization does not have the authority to engage with the public to make decisions about the launch of products like iGaming.
Rather, it is in the laws and mandate of the province to request such consultation, and the ACL simply rolled out the product at a later date. However, the lottery exercised due diligence by contacting organizations that specialize in carrying out the preparatory work necessary to launch online games.
According to the research, there is no evidence that the introduction of online gambling such as a casino would have a negative impact on vulnerable players or problematic players at PEI, citing examples from other provinces where such products were already available.
Another consultation may be approaching
However, without sufficient confidence from skeptics, the launch of online gambling may be slightly delayed. Compton said that in addition to everything the ALC has done so far, more research will be done to reassure those who have expressed concerns about the well-being of people who spend more time at home and may be tempted to engage in online gambling beyond sane.
Compton partially shared this opinion, arguing that there has been increased online gambling activity among PEI residents who have tried to spend more on online gambling in recent months due to the pandemic. However, people's expenses are not related to the legal status of the business.
Canadians have spent $ 14 billion on offshore sports betting, compared to just $ 500 million legally. The casino numbers aren't exactly known, but as Compton says, it's important for everyone to spend their money in a regulated and safe manner.
PEI can regulate and protect players for whom foreign websites are not interested in consumer welfare, unlike the state where residents live. However, the Green Party was one of the most staunch critics of the measure, calling it "reckless" and denouncing the lack of public consultation in the country.
In an interview with CBC Canada, Compton said she is not sure when the online casino will go live, but hopes to do so in the first half of the year and as soon as PEI has resolved any unresolved issues. Lottery Commission and ALC.
PEI is looking to catch up in several other provinces where online gaming has become a reality, including Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, and British Columbia. Meanwhile, Canada is trying to legalize sports betting on a single event as it sees the activity as an important driver of unexpected economic gain.