Premier Darrell Dexter says online gambling is “not consistent” with provincial efforts to “reduce the harm that is done by gaming.”
That’s why the province has decided against developing a government-regulated online gambling platform, he told reporters Thursday. “This is another avenue of gaming but not one that we’re going to consider. (Online gambling) is not going to be part of the gaming strategy.”
Finance Minister Graham Steele, responsible for the gaming portfolio, has previously suggested the province consider online gambling, saying government regulation provides mechanisms to address the social costs of gambling.
“Gambling has a social cost, but then so does alcohol,” Steele told reporters in August. “Just outright banning gambling doesn’t strike me in particular as the best approach.”
Over the course of learning about online gambling, however, Steele said his opinion changed.
But Steele added the province must eventually deal with changes to the gambling industry. “We all recognize that 15 years from now the majority of gambling is likely to be done online … beyond our regulatory reach,” he said.