Providing Atlantic Canadians a legal option for online gaming
You’ve seen ads for them all over the internet and each evening when you’re watching television, especially sporting events – the thousands of illegal gambling websites that are readily available across the country and right here in Atlantic Canada. In fact, an estimated $100 million leaves the four Atlantic provinces each and every year through play on these illegal gambling websites that are not regulated by provincial governments.
Clearly, this is a significant amount of money that could be staying right here in our region to fund public services, but instead continues to be taken away from helping our communities to the sole benefit of offshore operators.
I will make this very plain – Atlantic Lottery is the region’s only lottery and online gaming and sports betting provider that is 100 per cent legal and government regulated.
100 per cent of our profit stays here in Atlantic Canada each and every year to help fund important services we all use. In short: what’s played here, stays here.
Providing responsible gambling products is one of Atlantic Lottery’s core values and a key consideration in every game we launch. We regularly consult with gambling experts in order to research and develop new products.
We have undergone this process in order to explore offering online casino-style games to players across our region, in hopes of eventually offering a regulated alternative to this illegal competition. This process involved a number of independent expert reviews
Ultimately, this rigorous process concluded that online casino games could be responsibly implemented in our region – we would not introduce a game to Atlantic Canadians if it wasn’t possible to do it responsibly.
The expert reviews further found no substantial evidence that the introduction of online casino gambling would have a measurable impact on vulnerable players, nor that problem gambling became more prevalent in the other Canadian provinces where regulated online casino games are already available. In fact, more than 90 per cent of Canadians now have the option to play in a safe, regulated environment through their region’s lottery provider.
The steadily growing presence of unregulated and offshore gambling websites that are currently operating illegally in this market is reflected by the increased advertising across our region and leads to a false sense of legitimacy. This is exactly why Atlantic Lottery is pursuing the launch of casino style online games in all four Atlantic provinces.
The goal is to shift some of the existing player base from these offshore sites back to our alc.ca website, which is responsible, regulated and returns 100 per cent of its profit to the four Atlantic provinces.
In practical terms, this means players are offered protection in the form of age and residency verification, built-in responsible gaming features, email alerts of winnings, and automatic deposit of winnings. Our site also contains features such as a self-exclusion option, customizable deposit and wager limits, time displays, and a personalized risk rating based on their online play, as well as several other tips and links to help players gamble responsibly. These features combine to offer the best-in-class player protections that were recommended by experts.
Online casino games are already in Atlantic Canada and are being played by Atlantic Canadians every day. A regulated alternative can provide those players with extra protections and tools to help them keep their play responsible, while keeping those funds in our region to reinvest in services essential to all Atlantic Canadian residents. That sounds like a win-win to me.