There is no doubt about it; gambling can be an incredibly fun and potentially lucrative pastime to engage in. After all, it’s often hard to find a recreational pursuit you enjoy that also provides an opportunity to walk away with a little extra cash at the end of the day. This sentiment, along with increased sophistication and accessibility thanks to advancements in technology and the spread of the internet, has served to result in more and more people from all walks of life partaking in online gambling.
With that being said, gambling is also an activity that comes with severe downsides. There’s no shortage of cautionary tales warning us of gambling harm, when a hobby escalate into a downward spiral of addiction. Despite the negative implications of gambling addiction for individuals, families and broader society, it is an industry that generates significant revenue and has the potential to boost economies in profound ways, which is why governing authorities across the world have to find nuanced ways to balance these opposing priorities.
An excellent example of this sentiment can be seen with the recent launch of an online casino in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. The platform, which went live towards the end of July, emerged after years of campaigning by Atlantic Lottery Corporation.
Employing A Balanced Approach To Gambling in Nova Scotia
Interestingly, the launch of this new online gambling portal, which is the first of its kind in Nova Scotia, has received very limited publicity and fanfare in the grand scheme of things. According to Nova Scotia’s Finance Minister Allan MacMaster, there was no major announcement made with regard to the launch of the online casino because they were not trying to promote it actively. Instead, Macmaster said that they just wanted to have it out there for local people to access a safe space to pursue gambling activities.
When looking at the bigger picture, it became quite apparent that MacMaster couldn’t ignore the fact of online gambling’s prevalence. It’s undeniable that people are gambling online, from virtually anywhere around the globe. Establishing an online casino operating in the province of Nova Scotia will ensure that locals have a safe and secure place to gamble and through a portal that could potentially put money back into their province.
What’s more, the site also has a feature whereby players can gamble judiciously by limiting the amount of time and money spent on the site.
Mathematician and Data Analyst at No Deposit Friend Dr Pauline Lemar voiced her opinion on this feature, stating:
“It certainly comes part and parcel of any reputable online casino, whether based in Canada or any other jurisdiction. Well-established providers ensure player safety by offering them with clearly outlined and transparent T&Cs, a ‘Responsible Gambling’ page visible on the site’s homepage and helpful channels for customer support.”
It is evident that MacMaster, along with other parties, did not take the decision to launch this online gambling portal in Nova Scotia lightly. This development has only emerged after months of extensive decisions being made in consultation with key figures such as cabinet minister Brian Corner, who heads the department that is responsible for dealing with mental health and addiction.
MacMaster was very clear in emphasizing that financial revenue from gambling was not the primary decision-making factor that led to the approval of this platform despite the fact that a spokesperson from the finance department did acknowledge that Nova Scotia’s provincial gaming corporation has projected that the newly-launched website would likely generate around CAD 10 million in its first year of operation.
He stressed the fact that regardless of whether the platform existed or not, locals would find ways to gamble. It is hoped that the establishment of Nova Socia’s first online casino platform would allow the local authorities to protect residents and act as a way of recouping and retaining money that is leaving the province.
Following In The Foot Steps of A Proven Model
It is worth bearing in mind that Nova Scotia is not the first Atlantic province in Canada to launch an online gambling portal. It was New Brunswick that actually led the way back in 2020. New Brunswick’s online casino generated an impressive 7.3 million during its first year of operation, so the prospects for Nova Scotia look positive.
Understanding the lucrative potential as a source of income generation, Atlantic Lotto has campaigned for years to encourage the four provinces it covers to see the value in establishing their own online casino portals. They did eventually make progress as the former Liberal government began laying the groundwork for Nova Scotia’s first online casino when it passed a council order to permit such a portal in the province back in 2021.
Looking To The Future
The establishment of Nova Scotia’s first online casino via the Atlantic Lottery Corporation is undoubtedly an exciting development for the province. With its impressive scope for income generation, it can be hugely beneficial to the local area if the money is invested wisely.
However, MacMaster acknowledged that the government would need to work alongside the Nova Scotia Gaming corporation to monitor the website and analyze how well it is working. While it is clear that they are open-minded about the benefits that could potentially emerge from this, they are exercising a certain level of caution in their approach and will be willing to make changes accordingly.