HALIFAX – Gambling revenues in Nova Scotia have fallen slightly due to a rise in operating expenses and a $10-million drop in wagers, says an annual report released Tuesday.
The report from the province’s Alcohol and Gaming Division says total wagers fell to $1.42 billion in 2010-2011 from the $1.43 billion gambled the year before.
Operating expenses went up from $70 million to $78 million.
The Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. generated $141.6 million for the province’s coffers — about $11 million more than the NDP government budgeted. But that’s down from $145.9 million the previous year.
“Despite the slight decline, the year went well,” Stephen MacDonald, Nova Scotia Gaming’s acting president, said in a statement.
“Our network of retailers makes significant economic contributions across the province.
“As part of their lottery business, each of these 1,400 businesses also agrees to complete annual responsible gambling retailer training. It is one more step in ensuring we have a socially responsible gaming industry in Nova Scotia.”
The Atlantic Lottery Corp. logged higher purchases of the national draw game, Lotto Max, helping it to increase its revenues to $216 million, up eight per cent from the year before.
Wagers on video lottery terminals are down by almost $16 million to $672 million — still just under half of all wagers in the province.
Last month, the provincial government said it would launch a study to examine the social harms caused by gambling — two years after it shelved a previous draft report on the issue.
The government disputed that report’s findings — among them being that problem gambling was linked to about six suicides a year in the province — because it concluded its methodology was faulty.
The author of the report has defended the work and emphasized it was a draft.